Have a vision. Be demanding. – Colin Powell

Economic development

Partnerships In Equity Program

YMI Cultural Center’s Partnerships In Equity Program is designed to bring racial awareness and intentional cultural change into the work environment. YMICC is committed to partnering with organizations that desire a more inclusive work environment, with retention of African American citizens as viable and contributing members of their agencies.

Business Incubation


YMICC is committed to economic development and entrepreneurship for Black individuals and communities. Through this program entrepreneurs will receive six (6) months to one (1) year of business incubation support that will include business development training, startup and capacity building funding, as well as, mentorship opportunities. We are interested in you and your business ideas.

Workforce Development Program

The “HMMM” (Hospitality, Medical, Manufacturing, Municipality) workforce training initiative and business development program is designed to support participants with training to build technical and workforce skills. The expansion of this program is “Operation Gateway” which provides a “circle of support” that addresses barriers to successful employment.  In this program participants will receive wraparound services along their pathway to the workplace. This circle of services includes childcare, transportation, financial support, guidance, and re-entry skill development (e.g., resume-building and interviewing). 

REAP (Real Estate Apprenticeship Program)

The purpose of the "Real Estate Apprenticeship Program" (REAP) is to remove perceived and real barriers to careers in real estate for historically marginalized populations in the Asheville area through efforts promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The REAP scholarship program includes: the cost of the prelicensing class, NCREA application and testing fee (twice if needed), study guides, tutoring, Board dues, MLS dues, joining fees for both, as well as post licensing classes. In the spirit of equity, we also conquer individual barriers on a case by case basis, such as transportation, childcare, technology, and study space.

Graduates of the program agree to "pay it forward" by mentoring new scholarship recipients as well as serving on the REAP steering committee.


For the Youth

Youth programs at the YMICC will provide educational opportunities, community engagement activities, internships, mentorships, and leadership development for aspiring entrepreneurs. With these groups, adults will listen to students and help advocate and see their solutions through. Youth engagement at the YMI will consist of programming 

My Sister’s Keeper: Coming 2021.

For youth girls ages 12-19. This program provides educational opportunities to help young girls reach their full potential. Designed to help economically disadvantaged teen girls the space and opportunity to learn and grow in confidence and knowledge.

Kids Spring Break Camp: April 2021

The YMI Cultural Center’s four day KIDS CAMP is for raising 3rd through 12th graders. This is a great way to keep kids busy during that week. It gives our youth the chance to have fun but

also learn at the same time. Outside field trip activities will be based on Covid safety at the time.

Cultural Preservation

The YMI Cultural Preservation section of programs are to engage, educate, and promote economic justice to attendees. Partnerships will consist of community members, schools, universities, businesses, and organizations as well as experts in specific topics. 

The Black Experience Book Club

The YMI Cultural Center and Buncombe County Public Libraries are partnering to create a book club focusing on modern Black authors and readers. will meet twice per month 2nd & 4th Thursday at 6:30 pm via Zoom and limited in-person gatherings at the YMI Cultural Center Suite A. 



365 days of Black History: Black History Brunch (February 2021)

As a way to kick off our 365 days of Black History the YMI Cultural Center has hosted its first annual Black History Brunch in 2019 and 2020? This brunch is filled with speakers, poets, singers, and performers. The main purpose of this event is to open Black history month and get to know local black performers in Asheville. This event is both entertaining and educational. 


Lecture Halls and Workshops: Continuous  

Nov. 5th 11:45 am - 1:00 pm Pan-Africanism and Leadership by Dr. Agya Boakye-Boaten and Dr. Tiece Ruffin. This partnership series includes the UNC Asheville Africana Studies Program, UNCA and UNCA’s BSA program to bring a 3-part lecture hall to all generations during these virtual times about Africaness on a global level, the Asheville tenant rent strike of 1968/69 and the upcoming Africanism and leadership.  

Join Zoom Meeting



Artist in residence

This May, the YMI is presenting Joseph Pearson as their resident. Here, he will present his series entitled, "Women of Distinction".

Through his art, Pearson is paying homage to his mother Vine Marie Pearson, his aunt Minnie Mack, and his last living aunt, Mrs. Lucille Randolph, who recently passed away at 98 years old.

Joseph Pearson