Over a year ago, Project Row Houses started a planning process with MIT that evolved into the Emancipation Economic Development Council (EEDC). The goal: create consensus among community groups for preserving and revitalizing the area. The EEDC worked with academic experts from MIT, Texas Southern University and the University of Houston to create a framework for action in response to the neighborhood’s challenges, which are outlined in a report produced by MIT titled “Emancipation Park ‐ Neighborhood Strategies for Community‐Led Regeneration in the Third Ward.” These strategies are rooted in the preservation of the rich African American history and culture of the Third Ward and are balanced by an acceptance of the need for new investment in the area.
As the EEDC’s work with MIT neared completion, two funders – the Kinder Foundation and the Houston Endowment – became aware of the EEDC, its collaborative process, and the neighborhood’s priorities. Both had invested in the restoration of Emancipation Park and saw its potential to contribute to EEDC’s goals. The two foundations are now collaborating with the EEDC and Project Row Houses to establish the Emancipation Community Development Partnership (ECDP).
The ECDP’s work will focus on making recommendations for adjustments to public policy at the local, state and possibly federal levels; public, private and non‐profit investment strategies; community‐based organizational work; and adoption of improved models for public services. Together, these
recommendations will provide options and a road map for accomplishing the community priorities outlined by the EEDC. The ECDP’s work is expected to take one to two years to complete.
For more information, please download the ECDP Progress Report released on June 28, 2016.