Urban Triage, a nonprofit Black-led organization, announced the opening of their office and community space on Park Street next week, according to a statement.
The space, located at 2313 South Park Street, is intended to be a Black cultural center, with a variety of clinics, workshops and trainings that will be led by Urban Triage, said Tatiana Dennis, the executive assistant to CEO Brandi Grayson.
“It’s gonna be for all of the Black community and supporters of the Black community to come together,” she said. “It’ll be a place for us to continue our transformative education, teaching leadership skills and entrepreneurship skills to our Black and brown communities in Madison, so I’m really excited.”
To prepare for the opening, Urban Triage has been fundraising since late August, and raised more than $60,000 of their $100,000 goal, Dennis said. The organization will continue to raise funds until they reach their goal.
The need for space came from how fast Urban Triage grew this year. Since the murder of George Floyd, Urban Triage, along with other organizations, has been on the forefront of protests and organizing in Madison. From there, the organization began receiving donations from the Madison community, which made opening the space possible, Dennis said.
“We’re completely uplifted by our Madison community. They’ve been so supportive and they’ve actually helped fund our entire space,” she said. “Brandi and I are working at the dining room table and right now we have five employees so we need space so we can continue to do our work.”
Throughout the pandemic, Urban Triage has continued its services, holding workshops and meetings over Zoom.
“Because we could do workshops over Zoom, we do ally workshops with our white community and healthy Black families workshops with our Black community,” Dennis said.
As for programming, currently, Urban Triage is planning a pandemic tutoring program, where they will partner with local tutoring services to provide access to Black students in Madison.
“A lot of our Black kids are not doing well over Zoom,” she said. “So we will have to find a way to do socially distant tutoring for our Black communities. But we really want to make sure people are safe. When we start moving into the space, it’ll be easier for us to know exactly what we can do physically. ”
During the grand opening on November 15, Urban Triage plans to follow CDC and Department of Health Services Covid-19 guidelines. All attendees will be required to wear a filtered mask, hand sanitizers will be handed out frequently and social distancing will be mandatory.
Additionally, there will be three separate in-person tour sessions and one virtual tour. The in-person tours will have a half-hour cleaning session in between each tour.
For Dennis, the most exciting aspect is working with Black communities for wellness, healing and mental health services.
“The Covid pandemic has really taken a toll on everyone’s mental health and there’s not a lot of spaces for people to access the tools they need to be on the right track and get out of these mindsets that come with being home all day, staring at the screen all day and lacking in-person activities,” she said. “So I’m really excited to work towards bettering the mental well being of my community and the community I work with.”
Ultimately, Urban Triage plans to continue their commitment to inspiring leadership within Black families and Black communities, Dennis added.
“Having a space will make it easier for us to mobilize community resources, and distribute those to who need the most,” she said. “To have a place where people can come pick up resources, or reach out to not just an email address, but an actual address. We’re dedicated advocates for those that we serve so our community space will just be a plethora of resources and programming, including, community support services, advocacy, economic empowerment classes, wellness classes, yoga classes and other supportive services.”