The red door, the haloed mural, the
paisley couches.

Soon, all of it will be gone.

People’s Perk has called the white
brick building in Greensboro’s College Hill neighborhood home for
the last six years.

“This has been a joyful and
satisfying experience,” says Karen Archia, the owner and co-founder
of the small, radical coffee shop. Archia opened the shop in 2013
with her friend Nancy Lenk, who retired in 2016.

Archia says she decided to close the
shop because it had become unsustainable. People’s Perk will
officially close after Aug. 14.

Archia urged members of the community
to join in a paint and pizza party on Saturday to paint over the
“Wonderful Women and Fabulous Femmes” mural that graces the large
right wall towards the front of the shop. The piece,
which was created in 2017, features black and brown women and femmes
including Bree Newsome, the Charlotte-born filmmaker and activist who
is best known for removing the Confederate flag from the South
Carolina State House grounds.

“If you look at mainstream historical
accounts, often women of color are left out,” Archia said in an
interview with TCB from 2017. “It’s an important goal for
me as a woman of color to help honor and reveal those stories.”

For six years, Archia created an
inclusive space that not only honored but uplifted the voices of
marginalized people in the city. Socialist gatherings, spoken word
[…] hosted by black women, open mics and more took place regularly
within the café’s walls.

“Some coffee houses are great for
putting your head down and cranking out work,” said Fahiym Hanna, a
local organizer and owner of Sensuous Scents. “But the People’s
Perk was an amazing connecting point for people like me who do
community organizing work and are politically active. If you didn’t
run into anyone you knew during your visit Karen would introduce you
to someone new or talk [to] you herself; she is always amazing
company! The People’s Perk was really like a town square that also
sold coffee.”

Tina Trutanich, another local organizer
in the community, also expressed her sadness about the shop’s
closing on Wednesday.

“The People’s Perk, to me, will
always represent the best of the Triad: warm, welcoming and rad
community,” Trutanich said via a Facebook message. “The Perk
connected folks throughout the Triad — it will be deeply missed.”

The mural paint and pizza party will take place on Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m.

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