Alabama is the root of the world. The red clay dirt is the base of liberation and freedom for many a people and the land continues to restore us. Ase to the ancestors + elders.
Growing up in Montgomery, AL has been a deep lesson in understanding self. We have family that started their own Black Township, Mixonville, and family to start their own family grocery store, Clarke Street Grocery. We have Black Indigenous family that was deeply connected to the land and food justice. Our Mother was one of the first black folks to work for the State of Alabama Gov. office and Father an advocate for youth justice and the reframing of the Alabama court systems. All of our Ancestors + Elders believe in community.
This is the ground on which we stand.
We are interested in a new narrative of Alabama. Our current narrative makes invisible all of the many people, ideas, innovations, sacrifices, longings that have been held here for many generations. OUr current narrative still centers this space as not blk, not indigenous, not queer- when we are all here. Alabama is more than an idea in relation to racism or oppression, for many of us, Alabama is home and its land tended to by our indigenous + blk communities that were not and still are not honored for their labor and love.
We believe that the future of Alabama is just, cooperative minded, and eager to be led by Black + Indigenous young people and their communities. Clarke Street Fund is creating a container to source resources to fund Black + Indigenous creatives, Entrepreneurs, and social change agents that are asking deep questions in community empowering a new Alabama. We believe in this work and the communities that are activated in this narrative building.
It is an honor to be present here and now and to be able to do this work.
Erica Mikal Washington is a native of Montgomery, AL and spends her days educating and exposing businesses and everyday people to technology. She received her degree from Alabama State University in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Erica's professional career started in 2012 in Enterprise Technology Sales, but due to health reasons, she transitioned into entrepreneurship full-time. Her healing has led to an increased interest in health and wellness, and the desire to share her experiences to help others.
In 2014, Erica created ClarkeBoone, a boutique Telecom and IT consulting firm helping companies simplify and navigate the procurement of technology products and services. She has worked with corporations of all sizes, government entities, and higher education institutions over the last decade. Clients range from the New York Jets to Morehouse College, Wrike, and the United States Postal Service.
She is a full-time resident of Montgomery, Alabama, and is primarily focused on community building, economic empowerment, and real estate development, as well as increasing access to affordable organic food in the southeastern region.
Erin Michelle Washington is a Creative, Scholar, and Waymaker from Montgomery, AL. She attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and obtained her MFA in Acting from American Conservatory Theater. In 2009, Erin started Soul Productions, a company that crafts new approaches to music and theatre. Washington has participated as a Digital and Creative Producer at Arena Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater, Penumbra Theater, Howlround, and The Curran Theater.
In 2016, Washington served as Interim Associate Artistic Director at American Conservatory Theatre where she was a producer and strategist for the Women’s Leadership Conference and Creator and Producer of the Bayview Arts Festival. In 2018 Washington joined the faculty of Spelman College teaching in the Theater + Performance Department. She has since founded her second arts collective, SoulCenter, a content development space centering Black creatives, aged18-35.
Washington’s work continues to deepen in the South, with the co-creation of Clarke Street Fund.