SIDI - The City of Elders
September 22, 2018 | 2 - 4 pm
Eldorado Ballroom | 2310 Elgin Street
SIDI, The City of Elders, was born out of the experience of five community researchers at Sankofa Research Institute. Using an approach called community-based participatory research; the team spent a year conducting a comprehensive needs assessment of Houston’s Third Ward, a historically African-American neighborhood that is undergoing gentrification. In the process of going door-to-door to interview residents, the team found a wealth of knowledge hidden in plain sight: the neighborhood Elders. Unfortunately, this same group is among the most vulnerable to displacement. Yet, with history to recount, memories to relay, and wisdom to be shared, their voices need to be heard, and most importantly, they need to be served.
The team -- now called Avenue Anchors-- aims to continue building relationships, connections, and trust with the Elders by gathering and documenting some of the most compelling stories, ideas, advice, and concerns. Their dream is to create pathways that can transfer knowledge, history, culture, and care through conversation. The team will use audio, photography, and video, and the stories will be housed in an online environment that can easily be reached by people who can make a difference @ www.cityofelders.com, a Tré Ward Time Capsule.
This initiative is supported by Project Row Houses through the Strategic Art Plan, generously funded by Houston Endowment.
Melanie “Meleekah” Villegas is a community researcher and strives as a creative connector to build bridges between communities through Arts and Culture. Nurtured by service, mentors, and motivators, she develops her passion for transformation and renewal through the use of creative methods. She enjoys creating space for communal conversations, exploration, and healing. With her passionate husband, she runs a creative business in photography and videography while aspiring to guide 4 human beings in the process of constant learning, growing, and becoming.
Born in Brenham, Texas, Rod Felder moved to Houston when he was 8 years old. He is a product of a single-parent household, where he, his mother, and his younger brother lived in a modest, country-like Southwest Houston neighborhood home. He has always had a wandering imagination and love for nature, as well as an interest in examining the rich tragedies of the human experience.