Black-owned coworking spaces are taking the nation by storm, and a great time too. Now, millions of Americans are working from home due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. For some communities of color, working from the comfort of home offers a haven away from the daily microaggressions they often encounter working in white-collar America. Black mothers, who take on several roles at home, were given more flexibility to care for and provide for their families.
In fact, a 2021 survey conducted by Future Forum reported a 26% increase in Black respondents who said they were treated more “fairly” at work when they were forced to ditch office life to work at home. Some even claimed their work experience “steadily” improved upon switching.
After the pandemic subsided, a large majority of Black and Brown Americans weren’t too keen about rushing back to the office. According to Marie Claire and LinkedIn’s Survey, 48% of Black respondents said they were happy to be working from their sofas and dining tables. 41% of Latin respondents also shared a similar sentiment.
While working at home can be fun, it can get a little challenging to stay organized and productive in the same place you rest your head at night. Especially if you have noisy family members or rambunctious kids, that’s where coworking spaces save the day. They provide a quiet space for home-bound workers to get the job done without stepping foot in the office. They can also be an incredible place to build community and foster creativity with other like-minded hustlers.
If you’re looking for some variety to spruce up your work-from-home life or a quiet space to knock out a few projects with tight deadlines, we’ve compiled a list of Black-owned coworking spaces that you should keep on your radar.
Blackbird House – Culver City, California
The California-based coworking space aims to support women of color and allies looking for a safe and inclusive space to work, according to NPR.
Blackbird House is more than just a workspace, it’s a community hub where Black women can find helpful career resources that will help them get a leg up in today’s competitive job market. Members can also listen to inciteful panels that cover a wide variety of topics about the business world today, from tech and Web3 to crypto and entrepreneurship.
Blackbird’s flagship location includes special amenities like a “communal work environment, six private offices, multiple conference rooms, a meditation room and a café,” NPR notes.
“Some people come in and they’re like, ‘I need to get my work done’ and you can put your nose to the grind and get it done,” Blackbird CEO and Founder Bridgid Coulter Cheadle told NPR.
“But then there’s this other side of getting it done, looking around and seeing people [in the room] who look like you,” she added.
Zora’s House – Columbus, Ohio
Zora’s House is a non-profit coworking and community space built by and for women and gender expansive people of color. On the company’s website, they encourage visitors to come in and connect and “thrive” with other people utilizing the space.
The fun and inclusive workspace fosters its collaborative ethos by hosting workshops that connect patrons to other busy work professionals. For example, their Sisters Circles initiative is a group support program offered to women working through huge life transitions and those embarking on ambitious career projects. Participants meet weekly to discuss their progress and hold each other accountable.
“Imagine that your favorite coffee shop and your homegirl’s house had a baby — that’s Zora’s House,” LC Johnson, the founder of Zora House, told Marie Claire. “You can come in, you can do work. You can also kick it. You can read a book. Again, it feels like this space that doesn’t exist for so many professional women of color, because it’s not our workplace. Many of us are not trying to replace, or replicate, or even create a better version of the workplace: We want and need something different. That is a space where we can not just produce, but also dream, and just be.”
The Gentleman’s Factory – Brooklyn, New York
Black men often encounter systematic roadblocks that make it hard to climb up the corporate ladder or get enough capital to scale their profitable business ideas. That’s where The Gentleman’s Factory comes into play. The male-focused workspace allows bustling Black businessmen to meet, work and foster community with other like-minded men to achieve their goals.
Established in 2014, the buzzing workspace offers a bevy of resources that aim to help savvy Black entrepreneurs incubate businesses, share resources, and navigate venture capital & Government multi-billion dollar minority-business enterprises. They also offer members a wide variety of amenities such as a podcast studio, conference rooms, and professional development courses.
Femology – Detroit, Michigan
This incredible coworking space caters to Black female entrepreneurs looking for a quiet and productive space to build their bustling business empires. Patrons can utilize the company’s membership package to gain unlimited access to Femology’s conference rooms and amenities. Packages range from $25 to $129 for a monthly subscription.
The Gathering Spot – Atlanta, L.A., D.C.
Ryan Wilson and T.K. Petersen launched The Gathering Spot in Atlanta in 2016. Afro Tech describes the swanky co-work space as an “invitation-only social club for entrepreneurs.” The immersive space is open to creators and thriving young professionals in the Big Peach who want to work in a bit of luxury.
The 24-hour coworking facility features some marvelous perks too, but that’s only if you’re a member. Subscribers can take advantage of The Gathering Spot’s full-service restaurant, bar, and special career events. But re-occurring patrons may have to pay a heftier membership fee. Expect to pay almost $200 a month to gain access to this super exclusive workspace.
Blue Lacuna – Chicago, Illinois
Blue Lacuna offers a collaborative workspace to bustling professionals in underserved communities. The affordable and accessible community space offers a variety of resources to visitors, from coding classes and mentorship programs to technology and strategic networking events.
Visitors can enjoy spacious opening seating, standing desks and a fantastic outdoor lounge on a sunny day. Patrons can also utilize the workspace’s big event rooms to collaborate and connect with other working professionals.
The Cube Cowork – Baltimore, Maryland
The Cube is the first coworking space in Maryland that caters to working parents. It’s also the largest Black-women owned coworking space in the country. The facility is child friendly and features a giant playroom for kids to enjoy while their parents are busy making their career dreams come true.
The Cube offers babysitting services for children between the ages of 0 and 7 to take the stress away from parents as they build their profitable businesses.
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