The Heart of
📍 Sabathani Community Center, Minneapolis.
Between East Thirty-Fourth and Forty-Sixth Streets, and between Nicollet Avenue and Chicago Avenue is a collection of neighborhoods in Minneapolis that is home to many BIPOC-identifying peoples. Yet, they also have an average household income that is $20,000 less than the income of the county at large. These conditions create a self-perpetuating cycle and result in an economic apartheid where people of color in local neighborhoods have less generational wealth, lower property values or fewer routes to homeownership, lower educational attainment, and lower annual incomes.
Smart North has collaborated with members of the community and takes input from the community's youth to develop a solution. Technology's increasingly pivotal role in the workforce and the larger world becomes more and more apparent. Smart North aims to tackle these inequities from this angle. Smart North and its community partners plan to create new futures for the youths in this community by providing them with new opportunities, tech/occupational education, and other services. They offer programs to teach and inspire students about digital skills. In a program, youths can learn programming, cyber security, augmented virtual reality, Web 3, drone piloting, and artificial intelligence. They can also use technology for art, creative projects, and 3D design.
Beyond developing technology skills, Tech Hubs also connect students with resources for mentoring, apprenticeships, portfolio development, and resume writing. They provide youths with holistic support for barriers and struggles they face as individuals with unique circumstances, including access to food pantries, mental health resources, clothing, and transportation assistance.