Effective July 5, 2021, Evolve Oakland is leaving its home at 2323 Broadway. Our decision to move is putting the organization in a better position to invest in the underrepresented parts of our community, particularly the Black community. While the conditions and timing are not ideal, Evolve has an opportunity for a new beginning, free of the overhead that comes with increasing rental costs.
Like so many, we started 2020 hopeful. Evolve kicked off the year with a name change, organizational restructuring, and dynamic programming that uplifts our community. Then our families and communities faced the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. We experienced many losses. Evolve mourns with those who have suffered and lost loved ones during this time; our prayers are with you.
This pandemic has shown us the importance of small businesses to our local and national economies. It has also exacerbated the deep chasm of racial and economic disparities, and further highlighted the wealth gap in America. COVID has called attention to the financial fragility of many small businesses. The disruptive impact of COVID-19 drove mass layoffs and forced many to shut their doors.
We all had to reimagine our business models and shift to tech-based companies to survive. We had to find new ways to offer services or products online and within public health mandates. Let’s be honest, it was and continues to be a trying time for many of us, but we are pushing through together.
This experience is a reminder of the importance of dignity and the power of ownership. We believe that ownership is integral to the advancement and elevation of the Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities.
As we move forward, we are committed to transparency. Our promise is to keep the Evolve village up to date on programming, events, relocation, and our plans as we advance our mission.
Thank you to the Evolve team members, our office partners, our members, and you for being a valued and essential member of the Evolve Village.
I believe that in every obstacle, there is an opportunity to bear fruit. With your continued support and partnership, we will forge a pathway toward our future perfect.
Thank you for trusting me and believing in Evolve's work as we grow, build, heal, imagine and learn... TOGETHER.
CEO, Evolve Oakland