West Side Grows Together is thrilled to announce that we have had two new team members join us through our partnership with Public Allies Delaware, Emory Marshall Jr. and Garrison Davis! Emory and Garrison will introduce themselves below via a few questions we asked in order to get to know them better and to learn about their experience thus far building community in the West Side of Wilmington.
Q. What is your focus area at West Side Grows Together? What are your roles?
Emory: My focus area at West Side Grows Together is participating in Community Organizing and Engagement specifically in the 4th Street Corridor. We will be doing door to door surveys, community events, and many other things to become more engaged with the citizens of the West Side.
Garrison: My area of focus at West Side Grows Together is promoting civic engagement revolving around the various neighborhood parks groups and all along the 4th St corridor. My role is to recruit volunteers to survey the community, bring together community stakeholders to help create a vision for 4th street, and start a blog about life on the West Side.
Q. What is your favorite observation about the West Side so far?
Emory: My favorite observation would have to be the character of the people who live in this community. I think West Side has gotten somewhat of a bad reputation for so many negative things, that it often over shadows the positive things. In this community, you will find some of the nicest, most genuinely hardworking people you’ll ever meet if you take the time out to explore.
Garrison: I love the diversity found on the West Side of Wilmington. In such a small area of land, you have a lot of distinct cultures, all of which contribute, largely, to the identity of the West Side.
Q. What motivates you to work in the community?
Emory: Well, as I stated earlier, there are a lot of positive things happening in this community right now that many people do not know about. Our mission is to bring that positivity to the forefront and hopefully encourage more people to come to the Westside and possibly start putting more businesses in the community. Having more jobs and activities for our youth will be a huge step in making the community even safer.
Garrison: My motivation comes from the fact that I live in the West Side. As a member of this community, I understand just how much it has to offer, and the potential of what it could be. For this reason, I want to work to put that potential on display for the world.
Q. If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be and why?
Emory: I would have to say my great grandmother. My Dad has told me countless amazing stories about her activism, courage, and faith. I would love to sit with her, hang out with her, pick her brain, and create some of the many fond memories in which my Dad has told me so much about. Talking with her would also give me a chance to better understand my family history, which, from I’ve been told, is very unique.
Garrison: (There are too many to choose from!) I would meet Martin Luther King Jr. to understand how he was able to build such a strong movement, and have such a lasting impact on future generations.
Q. What are your first projects that you have coming up?
Emory: Our first projects coming will be an event that will be happening on 4th and Du Pont on 12/17/16 called “4th Street Holiday Cheer”, in which we will be decorating an empty lot with Christmas ribbons. We will also be launching our social media page titled “West Side Stories” this week.
Garrison: Our first couple projects include our community surveys, our 4th Street Holiday Cheer event, and the MLK day celebration.
Q. What is one word to describe how you are feeling right now?