HNUSR engages in community development through the Harambee Opportunity Fund and the Harambee Center development.
The Harambee Center is a 6.4-acre development in the heart of north Huntsville that will serve as a hub for community renewal by offering innovative educational services, healthy food options and an environmental focus for the community.
In the Swahili language, Harambee means “all pull together.” As the national motto of Kenya, Harambee symbolizes a proud tradition of neighbor helping neighbor – communally lifting each other up. The Harambee Center will signify a community working together to achieve community uplift. Through the Center, HNUSR’s vision is to academically, socially and economically empower children, youth and adults, who will act as agents of change in their own lives and communities.
The Harambee Center campus will house the Harambee Academy where the approach to education is both holistic – affirming the idea that each Scholar finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through the connections they make to the community, the natural world, and to humanitarian values such as compassion and peace – and place-based where the community is the context for the learning environment. The Academy recognizes that each child is shaped by his or her background, environment, and circumstances and makes extensive use of cultural pedagogy to reach each child where they are and unlock the great potential they have within them. In addition, the Farm and Farmer’s Market will provide hands-on educational experiences for youth and adults alike to promote healthy eating, improved food access, and environmental stewardship.
The Harambee Center campus will house gathering places that allow the community to interact in meaningful and healthy ways. The Smoothie King® restaurant will be one of the franchise’s most state-of-the-art facilities and will adequately accommodate both inside and outside dining and conversation spaces. In addition, a spacious and scenic Event Center on the campus will be able to host social events (i.e., weddings, graduation parties, gender-reveal parties, etc.) that supports the cohesiveness of a community as they come together in celebration of each other and their accomplishments. Also, a Farmer’s Market will not only allow the community to come together to sample and purchase fresh fruits and produce grown on the Farm, but will also allow members from neighborhoods opportunities to come together and sale what they have grown in their neighborhood farms.
The Harambee Center uses as its backbone the Harambee Opportunity Fund, through which significant private investment of money is made for the expressed purpose of uplifting underserved communities. The Harambee Opportunity Fund then uses the investment of dollars made by investors supporting the Harambee Center concept to acquire equity stakes in high social impact and high earning business concepts that provide (1) jobs for the community, particularly those communities located in an Opportunity Zone (2) opportunities for workforce development training, and (3) opportunities to learn about healthy eating and clean environments. Through these, the Harambee Center not only provides a beautiful and interactive campus for the community, but also serves as a campus through which community members will continually learn how to take care of themselves and their environments. Through the Harambee Center, children and adults will not only be able to support the various entrepreneurial ventures but will also have opportunities for entrepreneurial training and space to present their own ideas.