In June 2018, the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg announced its vision for a social change center in South St. Petersburg. On Tuesday, the Foundation’s Center for Health Equity will open to the public for the first time, for an at-capacity Speakers Who Inspire event featuring author Michele Norris, award-winning journalist and first African American female host of NPR’s All Things Considered. Unfortunately, walk-up registration cannot be accommodated for the event, but those who did not get tickets can enjoy the new space during open door office hours at the Center for Health Equity beginning on Friday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Last year, the Foundation invested in a 10-year lease of a 23,250 square-foot retail space at 2333 34th Street South in an effort to create both a gathering place to accelerate social change and a new home for the Foundation staff. Local architecture firm Wannemacher Jensen began renovations last fall and completed them earlier this year.
The Foundation created the Center for Health Equity as a new approach to solving deeply-rooted community problems. The Foundation’s board envisioned a dedicated space to catalyze social change, create community, foster creativity and solve issues on neutral ground with the resources and tools necessary for success. The Foundation believes a physical gathering space will help normalize interracial dialogue, increase collaboration and form cross-sector relationships with unexpected partners.
Center for Health Equity (inside)
The central feature of the new Center for Health Equity is a spacious and versatile gathering space, with capacity for more than 300 people, making it the largest facility in South St. Petersburg. The thoughtfully-designed space can be transformed in just moments into up to 8 circular breakout spaces, thanks to specially designed operatic curtains that move on ceiling tracks.
For the last several years, the Foundation has spent a large percentage of its budget on renting event space to hold its Courageous Conversations program, Speakers Who Inspire series, and unveiling events for large research projects. Now, the Center for Health Equity will serve as that gathering space, not just for Foundation events but for others that align with the Foundation’s mission around healthy equity. To find out more about the Center for Health Equity, visit: https://healthequitycenter.org/.
Residents interested in seeing the space and speaking with The Foundation can visit the Center for Health Equity during its first open door office hours Friday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.