Toward the Billion Dollar BAMBD Trust Fund

Toward the Billion Dollar Trust Fund 
for the Black Arts  Movement Business District

The BAMBD is part of the City of Oakland’s downtown plan for the next 25 to 50 years. If it is to survive and thrive, the must be an independent endowment trust fund established to avoid city politics and budget crises that may cause defunding of the BAMB. So while we are not averse to receiving grant funds from city, state and governmental agencies, the BAMBD Billion Trust Fund would insure an independent repository of funds for the life blood of the  BAMBD. We want the trust fund to be primary supported by the North American African people of Oakland and elsewhere throughout the nation. It will be a symbol of self-determination of the people. While we would not turn down funding from government and corporate entities, The BAMBD Billion Dollar Trust Fund should symbolize and express the spirit of cultural and economic independence of the Black Arts Movement. As citizens, we have every right to receive funds from governmental and corporate agencies but the primary contributors to the fund should be North American Africans. In the past, too many of our organizations have been funded by persons and agencies not in harmony with the true aspirations of North American Africans. It must be clear that we will not compromise our principles and values for financial assistance. We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors who called for cultural and economic independence.

Priorities of BAMBD Billion Dollar Trust Fund

As indicated in the BAMBD pillars, housing is a priority. There must be market rate and affordable housing for workers, artists and common people in the BAMBD. We propose all properties in the BAMBD should be placed under the land trust to preserve land and properties for future generations, especially to stem the tide of gentrification. To help end homelessness, we seek to acquire SRO hotels for the homeless and grant them life estate titles to their dwellings. This will end a certain degree of homelessness overnight. Housing would assist those recently released from incarceration and those suffering from drug abuse, mental illness and partner abuse.

The BAMBD trust fund would acquire commercial properties for the district that would include office space, retail space, performance and exhibit space. In certain cases, we may need to re-gentrify properties for the benefit of the BAMBD community, placing such properties under the land trust.

We propose the establishment of the  Dr.David Blackwell Institute of Math, Science, Technology and Art as an anchor educational institution in the BAMBD. The institute is in honor of the great North American mathematician who taught at the University of California, Berkeley. We invite UC Berkeley to partner with BAMBD in the establishment of the Blackwell STEM and Art institute. Silicon Valley corporations should also support the Blackwell Institute.

Again, the BAMBD trust should rely on the primary support of North American Africans who do indeed have the wealth to fund their cultural and economic endeavors.

The BAMBD Billion Dollar Trust Fund would be under the direction of a community board with a vision for the future.

We invite non-profit groups in the BAMBD area and vicinity to partner with us to make the  BAMBD a reality. We would especially appreciate such groups partnering with us to apply to the MacArthur Foundation's 100 Million RFP for long range projects with broad community support.

Marvin X,
BAMBD Planner

Marvin X. Jackmon

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