Seattle's Central Area community members have seen the corner of 23rd Ave. and Union St. change immensely over the years. Shifting from a lively node along the corridor with an unparalleled 73% Black population, to less than 20% today*; this corner has heard the outcries of rebellion and felt the shimmering pride of a resilient community. Despite all of the great things birthed from this epicenter, the area has been branded as a place of violence and drug activity among the larger city. Noting this, the founders of a new entrepreneurship cultivation hub, called Black Dot, make it a part of their mission to rewrite the narrative of 23rd & Union.
Honoring the strong sense of community that was once there, Black Dot fosters an intentional community of entrepreneurs all aiming to support new, existing, and prospective Black businesses. They do this in three ways:
1) By providing a physical space for entrepreneurs to vend in the retail/gallery area, or work in the tech lounge area;
2) Providing the opportunity for networking in the entrepreneur sect and surrounding community; and
3) Hosting workshops and trainings for business owners to gain knowledge.
With events such as “Selling Your Art, Not Your Soul” providing professional advice for artists, “Finding Money for Small Businesses” detailing sources of funding for business owners, and “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” offering a breakdown of effective marketing images, Black Dot is keeping the benefit of the community at the core of what they do.
In a neighborhood that is ever-changing and forgetting the positive imprint the Black community had on that very corner, the work being done at Black Dot reminds us all of the greatness that was and is to come at Midtown.