Black Heritage in Austin
In our opening conversation of The Black Experience in Austin, we will talk with Pam Owens, Six Square’s interim Executive Director, about life and happenings within the district and how “Despite segregation, black stores, clubs, restaurants flourished in the area. Multi-generational families grew, and prominent leaders made local and national history in the areas of music, education, architecture, government, business, and sports.”
Six Square’s website notes that it “celebrates and preserves the great arts, culture and history of Central East Austin. Named for the six square miles of the former “negro” district, Six Square is a visionary leader and powerful partner for major projects that preserve, promote, and sustain black arts, history, and culture. We are the only state designated black cultural district in Texas.”
It was “created in 2013 as an outgrowth of the City Council’s African American Quality of Life Initiative, which detailed widespread disparities, racial biases, and a decreasing Black population.”
We will explore why Pam Owens is so passionate about her work, the numerous community leadership roles she has played, and her lessons learned that can be of benefit to all of us.
Pamela Benson Owens is the President and CEO of Edge of Your Seat Consulting, Inc and is currently serving as the Acting Executive Director of Six Square.
For 23+ years Pam has owned Edge of Your Seat Consulting, a unique consulting firm that is dedicated to assisting for-profit, nonprofit. The firm’s major focus is to provide methodologies that help manage perceptions and narratives about complex and challenging issues with courage and strategic passion.
Pam feels she is most effective when she partners with organizations from the inside out in order to streamline the hierarchical needs, create infrastructure, coach teams, shift organizational cultures and, of most importance, help leaders become more effective. Clients’ transformations are the essence of her work, and they’re also what bring her great joy and empirical pride.
She serves as certificate faculty at the Center for Nonprofit Studies at Austin Community College and enjoys helping fundraising professionals in understanding not only the fundamentals of fundraising but also donor motivations.
Pam leverages humor and honest storytelling to create a memorable and applicable strategies for sustainable and substantive change. She is a proudAggie (Texas A&M- whoop!) where she earned a degree in Journalism and a certification in Diversity Education, and completed her graduate work at St. Edward’s University with a masters degree in Human Services with a concentration in Conflict Resolution/Mediation. Pam has also completed coursework at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and serves on the Lead Team at Life in the City, a radically inclusive church in the SoCo area of Austin.
The opportunity to leverage a variety of roles and experiences is what she considers to be the best teaching tool.
She resides in Austin with her spouse, Arlyn (a native Austinite) of 19 years and two fabulous kids, Preston (10) and Allyson (13).
Helpful Links & Resources
Interim Director Six Square, Austin’s Black Cultural District
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