Transform Redlines into Green Spaces

We need your help to edit and distribute a new documentary about the joy found in historic Black neighborhoods. We call that "Transforming Redlines into Green Spaces."

How are We Transforming Redlines to Green Spaces?
Historic Black communities were subject to "redlining," an FHA policy that devalued property and prevented mortgages in those communities from being insured. The lack of investment produced "food deserts" and prevented homeowners from benefiting from the equity in their homes. Although the policies are gone, the neighborhoods are now blighted, and the blight has become a mental apathy and anger -- the communities' children.

In the spring of 2022, Nerissa Street, a teacher in a historically redlined community worked with a group of diverse artists, technicians and community healers to execute an unusual storytelling project called "Building Black Utopias." The Building Black Utopias project collected, broadcasted and performed true histories of the joy lived and experienced in Fort Lauderdale's historic Black communities to create an immersive experience of a Black “Utopia.”
A “utopia” is a term first coined by Sir Thomas More as “an imagined or intentional perfect community possessing the qualities most desirable to its residents.” This project broadcast the positive memories, achievements and future hopes of the residents of Broward’s Black communities to expose the utopia that already exists here.

The first public performance of this project asked residents who shared their stories and the general public to gather on a historic Black beach so that the residents could experience a safe space for their joy in real-time.

Our project leverages the true value in these beautiful, culturally rich neighborhoods by amplifying stories of joy, play, and prosperity in Broward County.

I was asked, "How does telling these stories change the actual neighborhood?"

A new narrative means a new possibility. But, more importantly, the REDLINE was a story placed on a community by someone who knew nothing about the beautiful families, the traditions, the culture and the joy there. This project gives the residents the power to speak for themselves and amplify their value.

What we've done so far:
We've completed video interviews of residents in 4 out of the eight historic Black neighborhoods in Broward County (Greater Fort Lauderdale areas)
We commissioned a spoken word artist whose performance honored those stories
We gathered over 100 people at the historic Black beach in Broward county (which has its own powerful story) to share the stories back to the residents (for free, of course)
We launched a landing page to gather more stories

The funding we're asking for goes to the following:
  • 1. Interview residents in the remaining four historic neighborhoods
  • 2. Develop a website to house the complete video interviews. It is important that the residents see their stories in their entirety.
  • 3. Clean up the audio and the video captured for proper archival. We want the stories to be cataloged in a special collection at our local library, but long term, we want these stories to have a place in the Library of Congress
  • 4. Professionally edit and score a 47-minute documentary about these neighborhoods to be screened on our local PBS station
  • 5. Submit the final documentary to the 2024 SXSW EDU, a global education conference that will help us inspire other teachers in historically redlined neighborhoods to do the same

We already have over 24 hours of footage, and can't wait to share it. We need your help to complete this work.


  • Marcus Blake 
    • $10 
    • 3 mos
  • Andrew Leone 
    • $25 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $15 
    • 3 mos
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Fundraising team (2)

Nerissa Street 
Hollywood, FL
Angelo Caruso 
Team member