About

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Marigolds in Dardanelle, Arkansas. Image by Saira Khan.

 

Identifying ourselves as by who we are is limiting and we will never be able to tell you the truth of our present form, because we are the collective force of individual knowledge and experiences. We want to offer our communities a means of empowerment through living room conversations, skill shares, providing resources, and significant relationships that will make a difference in the community with the difference we make being defined by the community. We provide a roof where we can reach across the divides of racial, economic, religious, and various boundaries within the community and stand in solidarity with other peoples through the interrelatedness of our lived experience. We strive to provide an organization strives to promote human and ecological equality in rural and small towns where these conversations and solutions are not often found.

Located in Dardanelle and serving Pope and Yell Counties, the McElroy House is a grassroots community-based organization working to find local solutions to local problems. Valuing our landscape and our cultural resources, we explore how the past informs the present, and how, by building bridges across generations and cultures, we can work toward a stronger and more inclusive future for Pope and Yell Counties. Our core goal is to work to bring people, and ideas, together across divides.

We host skill shares, workshops, operate a diaper cloth diaper bank, and are starting gardens on site. Our building—a simple 1940s house— is an ongoing experiment in affordable retrofitting. We strive to do our part in building collective liberation, working across race and class as well as building connections and commonalities between communities in rural and urban areas. Though we are not specifically an organization for low income residents, we believe that everything we do should be accessible to low income residents, especially caregivers. Members of the McElroy House work to initiate their own projects and we seek to serve as an idea hub for community work.

We are closely linked with the Boiled Down Juice publication (www.boileddownjuice.com), “a gathering space for conversations at the intersection of community-based traditions and holistic, democratic, place-based community action.” The Boiled Down Juice is a resource site; the McElroy House an action-oriented organization.

Our core goals include:

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Campbell garden in Pope County, Arkansas. Photo by Saira Khan.

Provide support to, and facilitation of, inter-generational and cross-cultural community partnerships and participatory research.

We believe learning more about our past can help us plan for our future.  We strive to foster open discussions and share our research and media (blog posts, newspaper columns, research projects) with others so that they may also learn more and join in the conversation.  We strive to encourage conversations and locally-based grassroots action that bring people together across class, neighborhood, race, even language. We want to do our small part to build sustainable connections that support strong communities. We’re always in a state of learning. We’d like to learn from you.

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Yarn bombing in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Provide resources and help weave connections.

Our model is organic. Community-led research and documentation projects will explore community successes, strengths and living cultures, as well as community concerns.  We strive to provide a place (conceptually and sometimes literally) where we can help sustain our strengths and address our problems, especially as they relate to the past and present of human and land rights and local, democratic, sustainable living.

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Kristen Simmons with one of her chickens in Dover, Arkansas. Photo by Saira Khan.

Build Connections/Knit Together

We have many resources here. We also have a lot of problems. Home is a complex concept. Let’s work together to think about sustainable solutions not just for this generation, but for the grandchildren of our grandchildren.

Dreaming of  Someday

Start small and dream big. We’ve got some big dreams like a flower/grief/cancer garden and space for the discussion of grief in all its forms; community-led, cross–cultural and inter-generational participatory creative local cooking workshops that will available for everyone, (especially people who struggle with lack of access to food), and a place for people from all backgrounds to hang out and talk about art, democracy, poverty, cookies, you name it. We’re getting our building ready and can’t wait to open!

Yarn bombing in Little Rock, Arkansas

Yarn bombing in Little Rock, Arkansas

Click here to read press coverage of the center.  

For more information contact Meredith Martin-Moats at meredithmartin_moats@yahoo.com

 


4 Comments on “About”

  1. Laure McElroy says:

    Hello! I am a McElroy from California. I am interested in your program and its history, as my father was from Little Rock, AK. I am also interested in social justice issues myself, and work in the San Francisco Bay area with an organization called POOR Magazine ( http://www.poormagazine.org ). Is there any way i can find out more about how you all got started?

    Thanks!


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