Bushwick woman creates safe space for people of color

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A Bushwick woman is changing lives by creating a safe space for people of color--a private social and wellness club on Meserole Street.

It all started out as an idea, and now 29-year-old Naj Austin is seeing it become a reality. Austin's dream of a safe space to celebrate and uplift people of color, now has a waiting list of 4,000 people.

"There are few spaces where people of color can walk in and feel comfortable," said Austin.

She quit her full-time job about a year ago and created Ethel's Club.

"Every aspect of our space makes it so that people of color feel celebrated and seen. So, if you look around the club, the art, the books, all of our programming and events are meant to uplift and empower people of color in a bright way," said Austin.

There are two different kinds of memberships. House members pay $195 for daily access, while culture members pay $65 to attend five programming events each month.

The club has lounge areas, stadium seating for events and film screenings, a health and wellness room, kitchen, podcast studio, and much more.

Members like Andrea Castillo tell News 12 this is the kind of atmosphere they've been searching for, for quite some time. Castillo tells News 12 that it is not just a safe place, but a special one that is truly making a difference.

Ethel's Club is currently expanding. They have plans on opening a second location on the West Coast.

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