On Saturday, the founders of Reno Black Wall Street and volunteers will be at Pat Baker Park—1910 Bishop St.—to hand out backpacks, school supplies, sweatshirts, new shoes and other supplies to community children in need. The items are intended for kids aged 3 to 13.
Started over the summer of 2020, Reno Black Wall Street is a community resource and youth center located on Wells Avenue. It’s named in honor of the successful Black community of Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was decimated nearly 100 years ago during the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.
In the months since it started, co-founders Donald Griffin and Romar Tolliver have hosted several events like the upcoming backpack and supplies giveaway. These and the organization’s other initiatives are something Tolliver has referred to as a “divine calling.”
“It’s like an initiative needs to be taken—a positive initiative, not an initiative in which it’s destructive to property, community and sacrificing lives,” he said. “It’s more an initiative to channel that into something positive, something constructive, something that we can build on and something that can last.”
This time, Reno Black Wall Street will be joined by the group Animarte Reno—an organization whose goal is to “to create inclusive spaces of empowerment for the youth of our community to engage in critical thinking and reflection and ignite self-care practices through visual art, poetry, music, performance, movement and culinary arts.”
The group will be providing live art demonstrations and teaching kids how to plant herbs. The event begins at noon and runs until 2 p.m. More information about Reno Black Wall Street and Animarte Reno can be found on Facebook.
Jeri Chadwell came to Reno from rural Nevada in 2004 to study anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2012, she returned to the university for a master’s degree in journalism. She is the former associate and news editor of the Reno News & Review and is a recipient of first-place Nevada Press Association awards for investigative and business reporting. Jeri is passionate about Nevada’s history, politics and communities.