In 2003 Yvette Harper-Bey, incorporated as Urban Unity, for the purpose of developing a non-profit business and cultural center. Yvette is a Native of Flint, Michigan. She has been a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan, for eighteen years. Her interest has always been in the arts and community organizing. As director of Urban Unity , Yvette sought out opportunities to develop creative programs to enhance the educational, cultural, and social skills of families and individuals, in Grand Rapids.
The original purpose of the organization was to teach business plan development and cultural enhancement classes. After meeting with community and business leaders, it was determined that we would refer clients to already established business and educational centers, and focus on the cultural aspects of the community.
Four the last five years, Yvette has done research on how to develop and implement such a plan. She has met with her advisory board, consulted with historians, educators, artist, downtown economic developers, radio talk show host Robert-S and George Heartwell, the Mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The response from those whom she met with, were predominantly positive. So plans to move forward and build or renovate a building to house a State of the Arts Cultural Center, inclusive of an African American Museum were implemented.
African American museums in particular, can be beneficial when it comes to a comprehensive view of all people, regardless to race or culture. In many classrooms in America, African American History is not a required course, thus, leaving important parts of history out of our schoolbooks and society as well. If reformed properly, all nationalities could be educated on our history. In addition, integrating African American History into our classrooms, could build self- esteem in African American children, who have limited knowledge about our heritage, and the abundance of positive contributions our ancestors made to this society, and the world.
Yvette was quoted as saying, “It is said that God gives one to toil, another to plant, and another to pluck that which has been planted. For every season, He has a plan! This is not just a project for me, it is a God given vision, for the community. There is something for everyone. I look forward to collaborating and creating opportunities for positive change.
Community & Volunteer Involvement
Founder: of Urban Unity Faith Based Business and Cultural Center.
Center for University Out Reach University of Michigan, Flint, Michigan Campus 1997.
Odell Broadway Scholarship Award University of Michigan, Flint MI Campus 1997
Supervised and renovated office space’s, to be used for Urban Unity business and cultural center activities. (2003)
Donated space for school teacher to tutor adults and children, in math, English, writing, and Spanish in cultural center classroom.
Donated gift baskets, to various community organizations, within, the Grand Rapids community.2003
Donated space at Urban Unity, and participated in a prayer and sack lunch event, that was distributed to the homeless and those in need, on MLK/ Division Ave.2003
Assisted the director of Positive Options, Children’s Ministry, located on Eastern Ave, with their fair and fun day project. Donated toys, to the children. 2003
Donated clothes to college student. Office supplies, toys, pictures and furniture, to Advocacy Allience Women’s Recovery Center. An Urban Unity Project. 2003
GRPD: Prepared statistical information for NHA Neighborhood Association/ Community Improvement from, Office of Community Affairs/ Crime Prevention.2004
Volunteered to stock a store for Hurricane Katrina famlies, along with other volunteers. We distributed goods and services to them. (2005)
MSHDA Michigan State Housing Development, Authority Program. CAP WEST: Contractors Assistance, General Contracting information Program Graduate. 2004
Student Long Ridge, Writers Group. 2003
Nominated by Yaka A. Kamugi, of the African Center Grand Rapids, Michigan: for appointment of Ambassador of Peace Universal Federation. Inter-Religious and International Federation of World peace. 2007
Board member: Indianapolis Community Dance Theatre. Board Director: Noretta Boyd. 2006
Member of African American Commemorative Society.2004
United Way: Project Blueprint, Board of Directors Training. 2005
Member of Community Media Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 2006
YWCA: Volunteer Child Development Certificate, Flint, Michigan. 2004
Center for University Out Reach University of Michigan, Flint, Michigan Campus.1997
Ameri-Corp Volunteer, Creston Neighborhood Association.
Metro Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur Graduate. 1989
Employment Training Certificate: Urban League, Flint, Michigan.1990
Mayors Office Department of Human Relations: Conflict Mediation Certificate. Flint, Michigan. 1990
Organized Professional Group and Consultants To Advise Program Manager on Museum and Website, Development Strategies. 2004
Created: The Culture and Art Development, Operating Foundation: To raise funds for the Development of an African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 2004
Created: The African American Museum of World History and Multi- Cultural Affairs Historical Website. 2007
Passion: Spirituality, Uplifting Fallen Humanity, History, Writing, Community Development, Designing & The Arts.