That said, Rae isn’t against all slowing down, particularly when it comes to (non-Black) gentrification in her native South L.A., where she’s also based her offices and invested in the area’s revitalization, as well as “vocalizing her desire to help keep the area’s Black community thriving and successful,” writes Shy. To that end, Rae is co-owner of the Inglewood location of high-end coffee shop Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, and also “an active proponent” of the “1.3-mile-long open-air public space that will celebrate arts and culture in the Black community,” Destination Crenshaw.
“It’s so important to have these spaces where you feel safe where you can be creative, and have a sense of comfort. To know that it’s your space,” says Rae, later adding: “What I love is that it establishes and certifies our history in these parts of L.A., and that’s extremely important to me because our history, our accomplishments are always erased or forgotten…So to be able to have this part of town as it is changing, actively and aggressively changing, as it’s acknowledged for what it is, which is just us, and we’ve been here and we’ve built this culture, and to acknowledge our role in Los Angeles’s community culture is important to me.”
“We don’t have many [resources] in our communities, and we have a history of those kinds of things being broken up,” Rae continues. “Part of what I want to do is just making sure that we’re able to have those in places, and that means prioritizing our wellness…That means prioritizing our health centers and making sure that people are there not to dismiss our health concerns but to be well-versed in them. It sounds like a utopian, idealist community or society for us, but I do think that it’s possible.”
You can read Rae’s cover story in its entirety on Self.com.