This Pioneering Co-Working Space Centers People Of Color

Via Flickr

Abeni Jones
November 15, 2019

100 years ago, Black people excluded from white social clubs banded together to create their own spaces to build community and support each other. 

As the “gig economy” keeps growing, “co-working” spaces like WeWork have blown up in recent years. But in terms of Black inclusion in tech, not much has changed.

Thanks to the rise of Black-owned coworking spaces, though, Black remote and freelance workers are building community, finding and sharing resources, and prioritizing ourselves and each other.

Ethel’s Club, a new “social club” in New York, aims to do just that - and more.

Created to fill a need for freelancers and remote workers of color to have a space by and for us, as well as interrupt gentrification in Brooklyn, NY, Ethel’s Club is getting popular - fast.

Named after founder Naj Austin’s grandmother, the space hosts co-working as well as an art gallery, wellness classes like yoga, a cafe, a podcasting studio, and a small boutique of arts, crafts, and clothing made by people of color.

“People are desperately looking for a space that centers who they are and sees them for who they are,” says Austin.

Her example shows that when faced with white exclusion, there’s always the possibility of successfully investing in our own community and making our own more inclusive and affirmative spaces!

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