Harrison Neighborhood Association
Despite a rich cultural history, the Harrison neighborhood continues to face obstacles associated with lower-income, urban communities. Health issues related to environmental degradation, and high levels of poverty have become compounded by violence and a past of crime, drugs, and racial discrimination. Harrison’s status as a “food desert,” the closest grocery store is more than five miles away, only adds to disparities in health and residents’ feelings of marginalization.
In 2005, residents of the Harrison neighborhood began coming together to voice concerns about redevelopment of their North Minneapolis community from this the Harrison Neighborhood Association was created. Through a system of accountability, Harrison combats racism, poverty, and stigma around the North side of Minneapolis as an unsafe, undesirable, and unworthy investment. All of which lead to the marginalization of residents’ wants, needs, rights, and opportunities. As an issue driven organization, Harrison focuses on promoting residents’ participation in the redevelopment process by addressing the challenging disparities in environmental quality, affordable housing, economic viability, and individual health. Harrison has trained residents to be community leaders, encouraging their direct involvement in the redevelopment process, and giving them a voice in decision making.