The Africatown Central District Preservation and Development Association announces the launch of the inaugural Imagine Africatown Design Weekend, to be held at Garfield High School. Imagine Africatown is a two-day design weekend taking place in the Central District of Seattle, WA on July 13-14th, 2018.

In 1970, Seattle’s only historically black neighborhood -- the Central District -- was 73 percent black, and home to a thriving local economy. That number is now closer to 14 percent. While displacement might seem complete under these conditions, Africatown seeks to catalyze a necessary change within Seattle’s urban development trajectory to deal with the city’s compounding issues of affordability, displacement, and homelessness.

Africatown is a community-led initiative developed by people from throughout the African Diaspora who have witnessed their neighborhood’s dismantling and seek to imagine a chapter after gentrification. This group has formed a community land trust, begun to purchase property throughout the neighborhood, and now is actively shaping a number of developments in the aims of building a Black cultural district. Africatown’s goal is to ensure that redevelopment respects and honors the legacies of Black residents’ past, present, and future by creating a heritage-rich, vibrant Black neighborhood rooted in the culture and community of the Central District.

“Despite the challenges we face, we see an unprecedented opportunity to imagine and create a future for Seattle that includes our community that has called the Central District home for over 130 years..” Said K. Wyking Garrett, President of Africatown Community Land Trust.

“Africatown is pioneering methods for the design and construction of Black neighborhoods that will serve as a beacon to communities across the country,” said Sara Zewde former Board Member and Principal of Studio Zewde.

“Participatory design is at the core of Design and Public. We aim to partner with designers, civic leaders, community members and business innovators to reimagine our shared best city where ALL voices are fully represented in the planning and design process or our urban environment.” Debra Webb, Director - Design in Public.

The event is being organized by Africatown Central District Preservation & Development Association with support from Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Black Community Impact Alliance, Africatown Community Land Trust and Umoja Peace Center.


About Walter Hood

Walter Hood is the Creative Director and Founder of Hood Design Studio in Oakland, California. Hood Design Studio is his tripartite practice, working across art + fabrication, design + landscape, and research + urbanism. He is also a professor of landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and lectures on professional and theoretical projects nationally and internationally. Walter designs and creates urban spaces and objects that are public sculpture. Believing everyone needs beauty in their life, he makes use of everyday objects to create new apertures through which to see the surrounding emergent beauty, strangeness, and idiosyncrasies of urban space.



About Nmadili Okwumabua

Nmadili Okwumabua is the Founder of the Community Planning & Design Initiative Africa and a professor of African Architecture & Urban Design at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia.  She is an African architecture historian and CEO of Southern Sahara, a design consultancy specializing in the research and development of modern African architecture.




Central District Design Weekend

July 13-14, 10am-6pm

Garfield High School

400 23rd Avenue Seattle, WA 98122


Schedule at a glance:


5:00 – Design Town Hall: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/imagine-africatown-design-town-hall-with-walter-hood-tickets-47094458794



9am - 4pm Design Cipher: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/imagine-africatown-design-cipher-tickets-47116369329


5:30pm Community Dinner: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/imagine-africatown-community-dinner-tickets-47231628071