The Ebony Aurora Awards
In late 2021, the Alaska Black Caucus purchased a building located at 605 Barrow Street in downtown Anchorage to become the Equity Center. The Alaska Black Caucus received funds in 2021, through the American Rescue Plan Act and philanthropic contributions, to renovate the building into a service hub for the BIPOC community.
The Equity Center will serve Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Alaskans in Anchorage through a commercial kitchen, gathering space, below-market-rate office spaces, co-working, partner leased space, and associated programming. In 2022, the Alaska Black Caucus set out to identify a contractor to provide business planning support for the Equity Center, as well as a contractor to oversee design and renovations of the building. Agnew::Beck Consulting was brought on to lead business planning, in conjunction with the Alaska Black Caucus and in coordination with SALT, the firm selected to project manage the design and renovation of the space.
In May 2023, the Alaska Black Caucus selected Bauer Construction through a competitive bidding process to complete the renovations of the facility.
The Equity Center is planned to open in 2024.
Vision for the Equity Center
The Equity Center is an inclusive service hub where the BIPOC community can come together in a space that is hosted and operated by a Black-led organization.
As ABC President Celeste Hodge Growden describes the Equity Center, “It is a permanent home for us where we can freely breathe. It is a place to figure out how we can change conditions for BIPOC communities. It is a place where we will engage with each other and with community leaders and gatekeepers; where there are many seats around the table to build trust and relationships, and back them up with advocacy and action.”
The Equity Center will open doors for the BIPOC community to be successful. Through the programming and work at the Equity Center, ABC and its partners will continue to raise awareness of systemic challenges and barriers and work to dismantle and overcome them. It is a place for young people, small business owners, and any community member looking to share or learn a new skill or improve their health and well-being.
The Latest with the Alaska Black Caucus
Letter from the President and CEO, Celeste Hodge Growden
Yes, we’ve reestablished the premier non-partisan organization that came into existence back in the 1970’s and had a three decade run. The purpose, then as it is now, of the Alaska Black Caucus (ABC) is to assert the Constitutional Rights of African Americans. We will achieve this by…
Actively involving the Caucus in the decision making processes in the community as a contributing partner with decision-makers and representative bodies affecting the lives and livelihoods of African Americans.
Supporting and working in areas which help to advance the educational, cultural, political, and economic well-being of the African American community.
Acting as a liaison and coordinating entity for the various POC interests within the community and State.
Making available accurate and timely information on relevant issues and areas of concern to POCs and their progressive supporters.
Creating awareness that the struggle to achieve total equality has not yet been achieved.
Emphasizing the ever-increasing need for African Americans and POCs to make renewed attempts toward attaining these goals.
Celeste Hodge Growden
Alaska Black Caucus President/CEO