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CONTACT:
MR. SHIKULU SHANGE
274 WEST 125TH STREET
(BET. FREDERICK DOUGLASS & ADAM CLAYTON POWELL BLVDS.)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10027-4410
Phone: (212) 866-1600
Email:  saredi@aol.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Town Hall Meeting To Address Gentrification’s
Impact On Harlem’s Black Owned Businesses

New York City -- The Harlem Committee To Protect Black Business and the Harlem Tenants Council will host a town hall meeting: “Saving the Soul of Black Businesses In Harlem: Ending The Economic Siege of Our Community” on July 14, 2007 to address the numerous and unfair challenges posed by gentrification Black owned businesses face in running their businesses in Harlem. The meeting will take place at the St. Ambrose Church, located at 9 West 130th Street New York, NY (Between 5th Avenue & Lenox Streets) in Harlem from 4pm-6pm.

The issue of gentrification in Harlem and other parts of New York City has been primarily focused on the need for and the preservation of affordable housing. Another important dimension to the gentrification onslaught faced by African-Americans is the looming threat to existing Black owned businesses. According to the U.S. Census there are over 129,329 Black owned businesses in the entire New York State area, with 98,076 of those businesses located in New York City. The accelerating pace of gentrification in once predominantly African-American communities such as Harlem; has resulted in many Black owned businesses fighting for their economic survival in order to avoid outright extinction.

The Town Hall Meeting has been called by Sikhulu Shange, proprietor of The Record Shack. Mr. Shange has remained in business for over 40 years in the Harlem Community serving as an ambassador of culture and music. The Record Shack is now the oldest surviving business on 125th street specializing in music from the throughout the African Diaspora. Like so many Black owned businesses Mr. Shange faces eviction from his location and eradication from the fabric of Harlem.

The purpose of the town hall meeting is to raise awareness about the racism encountered by Black Businesses in Harlem, as well as present strategies to empower those concerned about this very important issue.

Topics that the town hall meeting will cover include but are not limited to:
- The State of Black Businesses in Harlem
- Black Businesses and High Rents
- The Role of Government in the Development of Black Businesses
- The Black Church and Economic Development
- The Education of The Black Consumer

For more information about this event, including travel directions or to schedule an interview with the hosts of the town hall meeting please call 212.866.1600 or email at  saredi@aol.com.