Blueprint 15 Appoints New Executive Director

Syracuse Native Raquan Pride-Green Selected as Blueprint 15’s New Executive Director

The Blueprint 15 Board of Directors is thrilled to announce the appointment of Raquan Pride-Green as its new Executive Director. Born and raised in Syracuse, Raquan brings a wealth of experience to this role in leading the organization through critical planning and implementation of a bold, new vision for the neighborhood and its residents.

Raquan has dedicated his professional career to the advancement of young people in our community, most recently serving as the Manager of the Onondaga County Promise Zone Initiative, which works to match the emotional and behavioral needs of students with effective targeted interventions.

Raquan grew up spending summers and much of the school year staying with his grandparents in Pioneer Homes. Raquan is a proud graduate of Corcoran High School within the Syracuse City School District, and he serves as an assistant high school football coach at the Institute of Technology at Central (ITC), in addition to other community involvement. Raquan has been responsible for hosting various events to benefit members of the Syracuse community. Most recently he organized a hygiene drive for Syracuse youth, a tablet drive in April 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help 150 students gain access to technology, and a breast cancer awareness fundraiser on behalf of Shades of Inspiration.

Raquan received his BA in Communication Studies at the University of Rhode Island, and a MA in Television, Radio, and Film from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications from Syracuse University.

After a community wide search, Vincent B. Love  was appointed original CEO of Blueprint 15 in June 2019. Pride-Green replaces Interim Director, Stephanie Pasquale.

What is Blueprint 15

Blueprint 15, Inc., a recently formed not for profit organization, in partnership with the Syracuse Housing Authority (SHA), has a bold vision for the holistic revitalization of the neighborhood bounded by East Adams, I-81, and Salina Streets. Together, the partners are working to create an environment where individuals and families — especially children — thrive and have genuine hope for successful futures and expectations that they will make important contributions to the world around them.

SHA controls the majority of the property in the plan area, approximately 118 square acres on 27 square blocks, and other non-profit and educational institutions control much of the balance. The current property has 1,060 units of public housing, 11 single family homes of LIHTC housing, and scattered privately owned, single family homes or rental units. The neighborhood is immediately adjacent to Interstate 81, which is subject to an impending decision by the State of New York on its demolition and replacement. The neighborhood is the crossroads of the exciting business and residential developments in the downtown area and large institutions in the University Hill area such as Syracuse University, Upstate Medical University, and various hospitals. This project is an exciting opportunity to link Syracuse’s many assets in a dynamic, mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhood.

The vision for the neighborhood is likely to include over 1,000 new housing units that will be part of a broader mixed-income neighborhood that holistically addresses the needs of the residents across a spectrum of incomes by providing supportive services, education, and economic development opportunities for all ages, health and wellness programs, transportation access, recreational opportunities and commercial investment.

Blueprint 15 will help lead the holistic revitalization efforts for the East Adams neighborhood by engaging community residents and stakeholders in developing a “big vision”, supporting and strengthening collaborative partnerships, securing funding, and coordinating implementation efforts and initiatives. The Blueprint 15 Board of Directors includes business, government, education, health, and philanthropic leaders as well as community residents. Blueprint 15 will spearhead the development of the cradle to career education pipeline; coordinate neighborhood input and plan of the health and wellness facilities to serve the revitalized community; and work to encourage and support inclusive economic development.

The flagship strategy of Blueprint 15 is the implementation of the Purpose Built Communities model in the East Adams neighborhood. The nationally recognized model is based on the successful holistic revitalization of Atlanta’s East Lake neighborhood. The approach requires coordinated implementation of four strategies within a clearly defined neighborhood: (1) high quality mixed-income housing; (2) cradle-to-college-and- career education pipeline; and (3) community wellness.

Because of the complex nature of this cross-sector work, the establishment of a single purpose nonprofit Community Quarterback is the most critical component of a successful Purpose Built Communities revitalization initiative. Blueprint 15 – which is representative of leaders from the City of Syracuse, the Syracuse Housing Authority, Syracuse University, the business community, as well as nonprofit and philanthropic partners – serves as the Community Quarterback. This holistic, community-driven process requires strong, effective leadership working in collaboration and cooperation with diverse interests, and a leader capable of bringing these interests together to work toward a common goal.

Information provided by Blueprint 15