Proud Placemaker: Deidre Clark, Ensley

Hi, Deidra! We just love hearing from Magic City natives. Introduce yourself!

I grew up in Ensley. I was born at Holy Family Hospital, and was raised in Sherman Heights and what is now known as Tuxedo Terrace.

Specifics - we like it! Now, we've heard through the Birmingham grapevine that you're planning a move soon. Please tell us you're not leaving the city!

I currently live in Powderly and, yes, I'll soon be moving to Ensley.

Nice! Ensley is a community so rich with history. Here at LIV, we get excited about the potential for growth and redevelopment in that area. It's no secret that Ensley has struggled to rebuild itself after years of flight and suburban sprawl, although we constantly hear stories from natives who grew up in the area and still have such fond memories. We are BIG advocates for Ensley’s inevitable comeback! We'd love to know why you are returning to the place of your upbringing.

I love Ensley. There’s something so special about that neighborhood. I have a history there. And, really it’s the children in Ensley calling me back…

The children? We’re intrigued… tell us more! 

These kids don’t have very many options for meaningful engagement, and there is limited access to arts education in the area. I want to go back and do as much as I can so that I can help make Ensley more beautiful and beneficial than it was when I inherited it. I want to provide access to arts education for the children in the community. I want them to grow up and be proud of where they come from and not ashamed! Ensley is indeed on the move and I am glad to be part of it!

We're certainly thrilled that you're there, too, and we find that there is always such a sweet camaraderie that exists between a person and their hometown or neighborhood. Can you tell us other places and qualities that you love most about the city?

There are no long commutes! We’re close enough to other big cities that if you want to get away for an evening - it’s just a short drive to Atlanta, Nashville or the beach! There’s so much green space and it’s all so inviting.

Agreed! Last question: for someone moving to the city, what words of reassurance can you give them to know that they’ve found the right spot?

Welcome Home! The nation is taking notice of our city and you know want to get in on the fabulousness that even the NY Times has recently acknowledged! Ensley has such a rich history and if you want a place where you can come, make your mark and feel right at home, we’d love to have you.

Deidre Clark is mother to the adorable Benyamin. She is also the founder of Kuumba Community Art, based in Ensley. Kuumba is Swahili for "creativity", and the organization works with Ensley community children to increase art awareness and appreciation. (Yet there's so much more to it than that.) To find out more about Kuumba, visit their Facebook page.  You can also follow Deidre on Twitter.

 

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