The Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship began in 2000. As of January 2014 there are now 50 combined current and alumni fellows scattered around the country leveraging design to improve the state of affordable housing and community development. Last week, they convened here, in Greenwood, Mississippi.
As our large, energetic group was seen around Greenwood I overheard many locals ask, “Who are all those people?”. The answer is those are my people. I am more proud to be a part of this group than any other. I am proud because though we have diverse methods and work within a variety of frameworks, we share a commitment to providing our expertise to under-served populations, to working toward equitable housing solutions, and building partnerships that will result in stronger communities. The Fellowship has a legacy of excellence, and what is magical about this is that in order for any of us (whether an official “fellow” or an ally in the social impact design field) to achieve his or her goals, positive change within the communities we serve is a prerequisite.
Many thanks to Enterprise Community Partners and Katie Swenson for giving Greenwood the opportunity to host this event.
Here’s a little bit more about our week:
Monday through Thursday afternoon, current fellows spent time together discussing their work and the challenges they encounter. We visited Mississippi State University’s College of Art, Architecture and Design where the fellows provided feedback to students in a class I co-teach with Leah Faulk Kemp of the Carl Small Town Center, and four fellows gave a lecture to share their work. We toured Baptist Town and the projects I have been dedicated to for the last year, and we visited an ancient swamp, the BB King Museum, and the first Freedom Trail marker in memory of Emmett Till.
Thursday evening we were joined by alumni and special guests at the delicious Delta Bistro to kick off the weekend. We spent the day Friday discussing the future of the Fellowship, and in break-out sessions related to the diverse work fellows lead. The weekend wrapped up in Baptist Town on Saturday where fellows put their expertise to work, meeting one on one with future home owners to listen, draw and provide design assistance.
Photo credit: Harry Connolly