Planting a new renaissance

One of the hallmarks of the Harlem Renaissance were the salons, where the creative forces of the period would gather to share ideas and moral support.
Seminal periods in African-American history have sprung from such convergences, whether a group of ministers in Montgomery or the students who struck college campuses 40 years ago.
While touring the salt marshes of the South Bay Salt Pond Reclamation Project, I had a chance to witness how these food chains develop in nature. Subplankton begets shellfish, which beget larger fish, which beget migratory birds and mammals.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to restore the ponds to salt marshes, over as much of 14,000 acres as is feasible.
How does one restore neighborhoods. It takes a similar kind of seeding, the kind that W.E.B. DuBois considered when he discussed the “talented tenth.”
Where can those emerging talents live in a high-cost city like San Francisco? ScholarHouse is a new venture that builds the kind of scholarly and research communities among the city, in hopes that the talent will spark the same kind of expression which makes history.
We offer residences for the far-below market rate of $1,000 per month for college students who are willing to provide eight to 12 hours per month of community service on a common project, such as cataloging a massive archive or mentoring young science students.
We’re targeting students who attend college in the San Francisco, but heretofore could not afford to live here, even if they grew up here or nearby.
These market forces have contributed to a “brain drain” of young people to other states merely because of cost.
There are 20 spaces available for ScholarHouse between now and July 20. For more information, call 415-240-3537.

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