The Northeast Neighborhood Association (NENA) is located in Harrisonburg, Virginia and includes the historic community of Newtown. Newtown was built following the Civil War by and for the African-Americans of the Harrisonburg area. Among many individuals from the Newtown community whom had a transformative impact on the city which can still be seen today are famous educator Lucy F. Simms, who lived and taught here for over 50 years of her life and Elon Rhodes, the first African-American to serve on Harrisonburg City Council and Harrisonburg School Board and who was also a life-long resident of the Northeast community. Both Lucy F. Simms and Elon Rhodes have educational facilities named in their honor, the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center and the Elon Rhodes Learning Center, respectively. Both icons are buried in the historic Newtown Cemetery: the heart of the Northeast community.
NENA works with groups ranging from the Roberta Webb Daycare Center, the Harrisonburg City Police Department, the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Department, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Commonwealth's Attorney Office and others to address the needs and concerns of our neighbors.
NENA is currently raising funds to purchase and renovate the historic Dallard-Newman House: built by formerly enslaved African-American residents of Northeast Harrisonburg and which we have successfully campaigned to have added to the registry of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. We aim to make the home a community museum and our permanent headquarters and base of operations.
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