The Neighborhood Postcard Project is a worldwide participatory project that fosters community connection through storytelling exchange. Residents share personal positive stories about negatively stereotyped neighborhoods on a postcard and we deliver them to random people in that same city to break down stereotypes and build community.
The project began as the SF Postcard Project in April of 2013 in San Francisco. While I was working with the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, I worked with youth in Bayview to create a challenge for ImproveSF, an online platform where San Franciscans submit ideas to solve neighborhood challenges. The youth went out and talked to the community and asked them what they wanted to improve in their neighborhood. They heard about gang violence, unemployment, and drug use — but they finally came back to us and said that all they wanted to do was change other people’s perception of Bayview. I found that extremely powerful. They had this huge platform in the Mayor’s Office to try to end violence in their neighborhood, but they said no all we want is for people to not look at us and not assume certain things because we live in a certain neighborhood. So I set out to find a way to help them and change perception of San Francisco’s marginalized neighborhoods.
Since then, people all over the world have expressed interest in doing the project in their community. What began as the SF Postcard Project is now the Neighborhood Postcard Project — working to tell positive stories, change perception, and build community not just in San Francisco, but all around the world.