South Dallas is building a new neighborhood hot spot. The grand opening for “Malcolm X Plaza” was held Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4. The new, “vibrant demonstration of community-led public safety” is located at the corner of South Malcolm X Boulevard and Marburg Street.
Malcolm X Plaza will initially serve as a pop-up incubator for local entrepreneurs, organizations, and small companies and provide educational and recreational options for children and families. The plaza will also act as a test bed for neighborhood-led, place-based safety solutions in Dallas.
With a basketball half-court, a protected kids’ space, ground murals, temperature-controlled vendor space, and grassy areas, Malcolm X Plaza will be enjoyed by visitors and residents of South Dallas.
Several nonprofit and community groups are working with the Better Block Foundation to transform the former vacant lot. Child Poverty Action Lab (CPAL), Not My Son, Oak Hill Mission Baptist Church, Robin Hood Inc., United Peoples Coalition, and other local groups worked to support this project.
Owen Wilson-Chavez with Child Poverty Action Lab said the group began engaging with neighbors about the plan last fall. They sought ideas and feedback for developing the space, indicating how much they value local input.
“One of the things that came to the top were a variety of issues in the community, like a lack of access to resources, feeling unsafe walking around the community, feeling unsafe visiting certain types of, or parts of the neighborhood. So, we really thought about how could we create a true community gathering place,” said Wilson-Chavez.
Malcolm X Plaza will be open seven days a week from June 3 until August 21, 2022. A community brunch will be held every Sunday, noon to 2:00 p.m., when 50 attendees will receive meals for free.