By China Boynton

Ashanti Cultural Arts & Enrichment Center, a Pompano Beach based non-profit known for their dance performance artistry throughout Broward County, will be using its art to move people in a different way.

At the organization’s “Creative Bridge to Social Justice” event, there won’t be dancers, but there will be activities, discussions, and initiatives to uplift the community and help access affordable housing.

Stop by on Friday, June 30 at the E. Pat Larkins Community Center, 520 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., Pompano Beach from 6 to 8 p.m to support this free and progressive event. Attendees can enjoy live music from the Valerie Tyson Band, a communal art experience, a panel discussion led by community leaders, and assistance with affordable housing.

The discussion will focus on empowering the community to access their own needs as it relates to housing, especially in northwest Pompano.

This is the first of three sessions. Future events will discuss wealth acquisition, businesses and jobs on July 28, and voting and criminal justice activism on August 25.

Owner and founder of Ashanti Cultural Art & Enrichment Center, Linda Jones, said that the event will be enlightening and she hopes to spark the seeds of activism in the hearts of those who attend.

“We want people to be engaged in the information so that when they leave, they will have a plan and will be able to access the things that they need,” Jones said.

PNC Bank will give attendees an opportunity to fill out preliminary loan paperwork.

“When they go to a table they’re actually going to be filling out applications and making appointments to meet for follow-ups,” Jones said.

The Broward County Success Center will also attend the event and provide housing vouchers. The Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) will address affordable housing in the northwest section of Pompano and housing for senior citizens.

Ashanti Cultural Arts & Enrichment Center received a Community Foundation of Broward’s Art of Community grant to address social justice.

Sherry Brown Grovener, Vice President of Community Impact at the Community Foundation of Broward, said she looks for projects that bring the community together, give voice to issues facing our community and generate solutions to those issues.

“Over the past two years our arts’ focus has been using the arts as a tool to advance social justice in our community and we are delighted that Ashanti Cultural Arts is one of the recipients of a grant to make that happen,” said Grovener. “When it comes to social justice, there are many battles within the fight. So we are trying to empower people to stand up and give voice to their struggle so that we can solve problems and bring about change.”

Also coming out to support her district will be Vice Mayor Beverly Perkins. She will lend her support to the community and discuss her ongoing work and future housing plans for Pompano residents.

“What Ashanti Cultural Arts is doing with social justice is needed because there is always a need for housing,”

Vice Mayor Perkins said. “ I have four condos/apartments coming up in my district and one set of single-family homes in my district that I’m trying to push forward to get done.”

For more details on the event call: 754–946–0439 or go to www.ashanticulturalarts.org

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