A group of 19 Black families purchased almost 97 acres of land in Toomsboro, Georgia, to plant the seeds for a thriving new city. Georgia-based realtor Ashley Scott launched The Freedom Georgia Initiative with her friend — entrepreneur and investor — Renee Walters to spearhead the purchase. In an op-ed published on Blavity, Scott said it was the tragic death of Ahmaud Arbery — a young Black man who was killed while out for a jog — that inspired her to seek therapy and eventually establish a community in Georgia where Black people can feel safe.

“I sought counseling from a Black therapist, and it helped. It helped me to realize that what we as Black people are suffering from is racial trauma. We are dealing with systemic racism,” Scott wrote. “We are dealing with deep-rooted issues that will require more than protesting in the streets. It will take for us as a people, as Atlanta rapper and activist Killer Mike so eloquently put, ‘To plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize.’ So that’s what I and my good friend Renee Walters, an entrepreneur and investor, did.”

After launching their Freedom Georgia Initiative, Scott and Walters attended local city council and zoning meetings. Then, she and 19 other families came together to purchase the large amount of land in Toomsboro.

“We figured we could try to fix a broken system, or we could start fresh,” she wrote. “Start a city that could be a shining example of being the change you want to see. We wanted to be more involved in creating the lives we really want for our Black families, and maybe, just maybe, create some generational wealth for ourselves by investing in the land. Investing in creating a community that is built around our core values and beliefs.”

Scott plans to equip their newly owned land with Black farmers, vendors, suppliers and contractors. On Freedom Georgia’s Facebook page, it notes that it “hopes to be an innovative model for self-sufficiency, environmental sustainability, and cooperative economics among BIPOC communities across the African Diaspora globally.”

Amass land, develop affordable housing for yourself, build your own food systems, build manufacturing and supply chains, build your own home school communities, build your own banks and credit unions, build your own cities, build your own police departments, tax yourselves and vote in a mayor and a city council you can trust,” Scott concluded in her op-ed. “Build it from scratch! Then go get all the money the United States of America has available for government entities and get them bonds. This is how we build our new Black Wall Streets.”

Learn more about The Freedom Georgia Initiative here.