Building Black Utopias: Transforming Redlines Into Green Spaces

Helping Professionals To Use Story to Transform Communities

Gathering true stories of joy, hope, and prosperity from historically redlined neighborhoods and finding them a 21st Century home

By 2050, the World Bank’s Groundswell report estimates that 216 Million people will be displaced from their homelands by climate change. Our Building Black Utopias project will archive the joyful histories of the cultures and communities most impacted by this displacement into large language models (or LLMs), so that their value is accurately represented and used in the imagining and construction of Black futures. This project is like a big digital scrapbook. We need your help to collect and save happy and important stories about people and places that are most affected by these changes. Using large language models (like super-smart computers), we can keep these stories safe – but also those stories can be accessed by the public to keep the memories alive. This way, we can remember and celebrate these cultures and help build a bright future for everyone.

This website is the hub that shows our live and in-person activations of this project, where we gather people to record these stories. During those in-person events, we explore healing practices in acknowledgement of the trauma our residents experienced, and we distribute economic and educational resources for our resilience.

We were featured on WLRN, an NPR affiliate. Read and listen here.

This project was made possible with support from the Broward County Cultural Division. We’re also grateful to Happy Homes Florida Real Estate, for their seed investment in this project.

Support has also been provided by the following Funds at the Community Foundation of Broward:
Helen and Frank Stoykov Charitable Endowment Fund, Louise and Rudi Dill Charitable Fund, and the Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund.

We are a fiscally sponsored project of the Center for Social Change so your donation is tax-deductible.

Broward poet Epiphany reads her poem ode to Black Broward
Neighborhood poet Epiphany reads from her poetic “playback” of the residents’ joy.

The Story of the Cities On the Beach

During Juneteenth for Joy, to honor the cities whose stories we are collecting, we created an installation on the beach featuring the names of each city. 

Only 3% of graphic designers are black. The first credited black font designer published his first font only in 1995. This lack of diversity in design prompted us to seek out black typeface designers. We used their fonts for our city names. Special thanks to Tré Seals (, Schessa Garbutt (, and Joshua Darden (@dardenstudiofonts) for their designs of the installation pieces. 


Photo credits: Orit Ben-Ezzer