Community Building in the “07”

Harrison Hill is an historic neighborhood on the southwest side of Fort Wayne, Indiana, fondly referred to as the “07”. It is a neighborhood where local Bahá’ís have specially engaged in community development activities.

Before the pandemic, local Bahá’í residents Akinlana DaDa and Gayle Bevill-DaDa began to concentrate efforts on building community in their neighborhood by reaching out to their neighbors and by nurturing friendships. They connected with their neighborhood organization and began making plans with neighbors.

“Light Up the Night” festival in 2020

Although the pandemic slowed their progress, they kept going with creative activities like “driveway drumming” and a block party in 2020 called “Light Up the Night”, for racial justice.

The summer of 2021 featured an event the neighbors called the Harrison Hill Children’s Festival. Games, arts and crafts, face painting, storytelling, karaoke, and food trucks were enjoyed by more than a hundred children and parents attending.

The neighbors worked tirelessly with love and unity to ensure the event’s success and suggested making this make this an annual event.