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The Melanin Market's mission is to create a platform that highlights minority-owned businesses' products and services and provides a setting for fellowship with customers and the community.
Dawn Curling and Angie Nixon were the organizers of the first Melanin Market held in 2018. The Melanin Market began as a pathway to the products and services of minority-owned businesses. An opportunity for the local community to invest in itself and have a safe space for families to enjoy dynamic cultures.
The energetic and upbeat event rejuvenates the soul of Jacksonville’s eastside. A bustling economic hub for minority-owned businesses prior to the 1964 Race Riots, which diminished the social and business growth of the renowned minority district. The Melanin Market is the face of a new day. Held quarterly, the market has expanded to over 7,000 regular attendees with 300+ vendors and continues to grow each market. We transform five Blocks from Union Street to Jessie Street along with A. Phillip Randolph Blvd on Jacksonville Eastside in the historical African American community, to serve as host to the quarterly event.
The Melanin Market also serves as a hub for workshops and a series of community development events, exhibits, and volunteer projects with the Eastside community leaders and partners.
The Market has experienced consistent growth and plans to continue increasing vendors and participants in the coming years.
Dawn is a creative and passionate leader and a 3rd generation business owner in a historic business corridor on Jacksonville's eastside.
Through her professional journey, she has helped provide community members with economic opportunities and provide a community development platform. Dawn's passion is to empower and inspire minority entrepreneurs with accessible space and resources to grow and succeed.
Dawn says that her motivation for Melanin Market stemmed from the historic business corridor pre-1964 when the community was a hub of economic development and entrepreneurship before the Jacksonville race riots.
She hopes that Melanin Market can help alleviate the detriment of social and economic inequities that minorities face every day.
Angie has turned her passion and love for the community into life long commitment as a community organizer.
Over the years, she has created placemaking events that provided access to healthy food options in food deserts, brought in educational opportunities and training opportunities for small business owners, and created family-friendly environments that focused on the overall health and well-being of residents.
Angie is the mom of a real-life superhero, 13-year-old author, Natalie “Moxie” McGriff! They recently opened a smoothie/ice cream/sandwich shop on the Eastside of Jacksonville called “Natalie’s Nook & Candy Shop!” The goal is for their restaurant, is to bring healthy food options to the food insecure neighborhood.
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