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welcome to the village

About Play Cousins Collective

Play Cousins Collective, founded in 2017, is a Black family collective with a mission to build a supportive village around children. The collective is driven by the vision of a world where Black children are free to live, play, and prosper. PCC is committed to preparing both our children for the world and the world for our children.

Inspired by the findings of the Louisville Metro Health Equity Report of 2017, which highlighted lower life expectancy and higher death rates among Black individuals due to systemic oppression, PCC emerged as a response. Initially, a small group of Black women gathered over food in their homes, sharing a belief in the inherent richness and power of Louisville's Black community.

Their experiences in West Louisville were strikingly different than the narratives portrayed on the news and radio that devalued Black life and property while systems of over-policing, gentrification, labor practices and the like continued to extort labor and capital. The lives they led were filled with Black joy, beautiful parks, Black businesses and nonprofits, community events and resources. They wanted to focus on the good in their lives as a way to grow that narrative and lean into the autonomy and authority they had in defining themselves and their communities.

They created a newsletter highlighting public events and programs that supported or celebrated Black children and families. In it they shared books and activities to do as Black families. They began hosting pop-up playdates in the park, sharing the newsletter and encouraging people to join them in the village of support they were actively building.

Rather than seeking to “fix” their community or themselves, they sought to create an alternate universe for Play Cousins, where members are the main characters in their world and possibilities are boundless. A world where the Black experience is normalized and being Black is not a preexisting condition but something to be proud of.

Play Cousins grow up in a world where Black success, health, and joy are the norm. Drawing on Black culture, history, and methods of healing and liberation, the collective finds insight into sustainability, disease prevention, and resilience. Practices such as resource mapping, sharing and bartering, extended and fictive kinship, gardening and foraging, gentle childrearing and the like are integral to preserving and sustaining Black people and culture.

With a commitment to building pathways for collective healing, Play Cousins Collective has actively engaged over 1000 members, primarily Black families in West Louisville.

While deeply entrenched in the local community, their influence resonates nationwide through online programming, conference and event childcare, workshops, and speaking engagements.

Operating through five pivotal modalities—caregiver support, youth enrichment, childcare, community healing, and civic engagement—the Play Cousins Collective catalyzes transformative change at both grassroots and societal levels.
2600 West Broadway Suite 205

Louisville, KY 40211

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