TRANSFORM THE BUILDING
TRANSFORM THE CITY
At the time it was built, 1012 N. Main Street was the second largest building in Fort Worth next to the courthouse (with members of the police and justice system participating in and leading the KKK chapter, one of the largest in the country). The building was a monument to hate and terror—members of targeted cultural groups had to pass the building to access the North Side and other neighborhoods when going to and from downtown.
It was a daily reminder to them that they had no power—the looming edifice was another form of policing their behavior, presence, and voices in the city.
Six local organizations are working to acquire and transform 1012 N. Main Street into an international center and museum for arts and community healing. The “1012 Leadership Coalition” models a pluricultural and shared leadership approach to acquiring, programming, and managing the proposed center. This Coalition ensures that the building will be led and programmed by representatives of the cultural groups that were—and still are targeted by the KKK and other white supremacist organizations in this region, thereby returning resources to the communities who suffered at their hands. In so doing, we bring together groups of people in Fort Worth that are often still systemically siloed and separated. Specifically, we represent African American, Hispanic, immigrant, Jewish, and LGBTQQ2SPIAA+ populations.
The 1012 Leadership Coalition continues to speak and listen about the project among its constituency members, the larger Fort Worth community, nationally, and internationally. Given the rapid growth of Fort Worth—it is now the 13th largest city in the US, larger than San Francisco—as a leadership team we are “reassembling” the city by returning power to these groups and making 1012 N. Main Street a site of memory, a place for the whole city to come together to grapple with this history and build a way forward together.
In addition, we are making public our process of creating a leadership culture that is intentional and co-created, not defaulting to one culture or colonial norms, in the hopes that it will inspire other such projects locally and nationwide.
The project has been featured in Fort Worth Star-Telegram, D Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, NPR, NBC5, and through AP Wire.
“As a Fort Worth native, an African-American man, and as
an elected representative for many of the African-American residents of Fort Worth, I believe that it is vital that we preserve these types of spaces so that future generations
understand our history. The strong light of truth can help prevent the repetition of the dark episode in our history.”
- Congressman Mark Veasey (TX-33)
The project has received over one hundred declarations of support including from Fort Worth and Texas chapters of the NAACP, Congressman Marc Veasey (D-TX), National Trust for Historic Preservation, City of Fort Worth Council members Carlos Flores, Kelly Allen Gray, Dennis Shingleton, and Ann Zadeh, local acclaimed journalist and community leader Bob Ray Sanders, local clergy, local theatre and dance companies, faculty leaders from Texas
Christian University and the University of Texas-Arlington, President of Minnesota College of Art and Design, Curator of Jewish Museum of Milwaukee, and the International Coalition for Sites of Conscience.