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During her time as an educator at a predominantly Black middle school in St. Petersburg, Hillary Van Dyke grew tired of seeing her students' lives end in violence and incarceration. That's one of the main reasons she and her close friend and fellow teacher Josh Bean founded Green Book of Tampa Bay, an online guide to Black-owned businesses named in homage to the Negro Motorist Green Book, which provided a guide to safe places for African Americans to visit or spend money while traveling through the South in the Jim Crow era. It's her hope that by increasing economic prosperity in the Black community, violence will decrease and positive changes will happen. And with plans to expand outside the Tampa Bay area, her work has only just begun.

Years in Tampa Bay

8

Hustle (job)

Co-Founder of the Green Book of Tampa Bay, host of Podcast Pedagogy and CEO of Blerd World Prana

What do you do?  

I co-run a nonprofit that highlights Black-owned businesses through a directory and social media marketing and community work.

Why do you do it?

It's our hope that the Green Book can help with making economic vitality in St. Pete and Tampa Bay more possible for all by helping people intentionally spend their money with these businesses that are often small and sole proprietorships.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

My catalyst was working as an educator, realizing how inequitable St Pete is, and wondering in what way I could have an impact on that.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

People think that the work stops at the social media, but there is so much more.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

It's hard to keep up with all of the demands of the Green Book because I have a full-time job that is pretty intensive.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Separate your work space from your living space and keep it that way.

More Hustle

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