On Monday, January 15th (Martin Luther King Day), we kicked off a collaborative “Better Together” project with the North Camden community and students/faculty at Rutgers-Camden. The event brought over 20 residents and 20 students together (so much energy in the room!) for bus tours of each others’ communities and a visioning session with acclaimed mural artist Cesar Viveros. The project, which will continue into the spring, will create visual art concepts for improving the corridors that connect the downtown/campus to North Camden.
On the tour, as we drove by key North Camden destinations, residents stood up to share stories and show their love for their neighborhood. When we went to Rutgers, faculty shared helpful public resources with residents, many of whom where touring the campus for the first time. These connections are key to bringing our communities closer together.
When asked about her MLK Day experience, Bianca Byrd of North Camden, 15 years old, said, “I really liked it because I got to contribute so much. I actually learned new things too, which I wasn’t expecting. It was really fun.” Her mother, Shirley Irizzary of North Camden, added “I give back to my community because I want to make it better for my children. I love North Camden.”
Stay tuned for sketches of potential projects along N. 3rd Street, N. 7th Street, N. 2nd Street, and State Street.
For more information or to get involved, please contact Jessica Franzini at firstname.lastname@example.org or (856) 342-8088.