Monique Q.

Monique is a true warrior and embodies the heartbeat of her neighborhood. Her story is full of twists and turns that would make anyone else fold, but instead she uses her story as fuel for speaking up for her community. She cherishes Over-The-Rhine so deeply and will stop at nothing to make sure the community comes first when it comes to development in the neighborhood.

 

ON LIVING IN OVER-THE-RHINE

I grew up in Over-The-Rhine. I went to school at Saint Francis-Serif. I lived on Vine street, Race street, Elm street, so I’ve been all over the area. I work at a non-profit and am a mother to four terrific kids. We moved away, but came back to Over-the-Rhine a few years ago and I’m really happy that we did because this is where I grew up. To see the changes for what they are now, it’s definitely something I’m continuing to embrace.

ON CHANGES TO OVER-THE-RHINE

I’ve had these conversations with some of my neighbors, more or less because they’re my relatives. There have definitely been some positive and negative changes. Just being here in Washington Park feels different. When i was a kid, this wasn’t a park that kids could go to. This was more or less an adult park—an adult ‘day party’ park, so to speak. This park was never a place that I could come to growing up, so to be able to share this type of space with my kids is amazing.


If I’m honest, it’s bittersweet to see some of the places and people that I grew up with get moved out. I feel torn because I do love the revitalization of the community, but at the same time I definitely understand the apprehension that a lot of people feel—like black folks have been moved out—but I embrace it because it is nice in relation to what it used to be. I can’t say too many negative things because I understand where the development is trying to go, so I try to accept it in that regard.

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I feel torn because I do love the revitalization of the community, but at the same time I definitely understand the apprehension that a lot of people feel—like black folks have been moved out—but I embrace it because it is nice in relation to what it used to be.

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There have definitely been some positive and negative changes. Just being here in Washington Park feels different. When i was a kid, this wasn’t a park that kids could go to. This was more or less an adult park—an adult ‘day party’ park, so to speak. This park was never a place that I could come to growing up, so to be able to share this type of space with my kids is amazing.

ON CHANGES TO FINDLAY MARKET

Up until recently, Findlay Market was one place that I did not care to go to because I felt out of place. I felt as though I would get stares like, ‘why are you here?’. I’m walking around thinking, ‘I’ve always been here, you’re new to this!’. Some of that may be true, but I also feel like sometimes that can be a mindset, right? If you shift your thinking, the trajectory around you will also shift.

 

Initially, I was apprehensive and didn’t want to embrace the change, but once I changed my perception, things around me changed. Now going to Findlay Market doesn’t seem as bleak and grim. That was a place that I used to go to with my mother and grandmother. Findlay is different (now), but it doesn’t have to be a bad change.

ON WAYS TO FEEL MORE CONNECTED THROUGHOUT NEIGHBORHOOD THE CHANGES

Inclusion. With the impact that I want to make in this neighborhood, I would love to be included in the things that are going on in the community. Outside of what 3CDC does in terms of the yoga and things like that, I would like to have more involvement in what goes on in my home. One of those steps I’m taking is to go to the Over-The-Rhine Community Council meetings. I feel like I have to be intentional in putting myself out there in order to be included. I can’t expect people to always draw me in, I’ve got to be active in playing my part.

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ON BELONGING

The memories of my childhood keeps me here. My mother and brother are both deceased. This is the area that we lived in collectively and where I feel we’ve had the most fond memories. Being in this area feels very close to home for me. Even though they’re gone, memories of this place keeps me close to them.