Flower City Noire Collective

Flower City Noire Collective

Flower City Noire Collective was founded in Rochester in 2016 by Tonya Noel Stevens and Kristen Walker. They founded FCNC specifically as a corrective to the transphobia, classism, and elitism they witnessed in existing mainstream activist movements, and to cultivate practices of self-care, accountability, and radical honesty. Stevens has formal training in Agriculture and Food Studies, while Walker—has formal training in African American Studies and English. In addition, they have both developed extensive expertise in Black feminism and community-organizing through their work together since meeting in 2014. FCNC’s mission is to “elevate womxn of color,” and to center the experiences of Black queer folks in particular.According to their mission statement: “FCNC seeks to fill the void of safe, black centered spaces in Rochester, NY that center around black joy, black love, and understanding.” In the words of Walker, the work is fundamentally about “space-making.” Rooted in  Black feminist politics and the Black radical tradition, FCNC emphasizes “the values of collective leadership, collective work and responsibility, collective education, and sustainability through skill-sharing.” Their interventions include a free Black feminist mentoring program for local youth called “Petals,” cultivation of green space for and with Black urban growers (B.U.G.S.), regular reading groups and other consciousness-raising efforts including a reading and discussion group, and most recently the founding of Noire House at the corner of Flower City and Dewey Avenue on the city’s predominantly Black west side in 2019. Noire stands for Neighbors Organized with Imagination for Resilient Emergence and is based on the model of Hope House in Detroit, which Stevens and Walker visited in 2017. Noire House is actually two houses, acquired by FCNC as “legacy properties.” Walker and Stevens are currently living in one of the houses, along with other tenants, and rehabbing both houses for cooperative occupancy.”

(585) 466-4733
Rochester, NY

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