Majesty and Elize (Photo courtesy BlackNews.com)
By AFRO Staff
Majesty and Elize, a Black power couple from Atlanta whose fledgling real estate company INTL Realty Partners cleared over $1.5 million dollars in revenue in its first year, recently established a non-profit with an eye to pooling resources within the Black community to uplift and empower the African Diaspora.
EVOPIA is a free membership platform that offers its members the opportunity to invest in commercial real estate projects geared toward rehabilitating Black communities. Just recently, for example, 3,000 of EVOPIA’s members helped develop a sustainable, affordable housing project in Atlanta.
Majesty and Elize hopes to replicate that model nationwide, and about 25 of EVOPIA chapters have been established in cities such as Baltimore. Each chapter is expected to establish initiatives such as local food banks.
The AFRO interviewed Elize regarding the couple’s latest enterprise and what they hope to achieve.
AFRO: What is the meaning or background behind the name “EVOPIA?”
ME: EVOPIA is a combination of “Evolution” and “Utopia.” The words were put together to create a meaning that represents what the ideal reality would look like for Black people if we owned more land and controlled more resources that impact our socioeconomic status.
AFRO: What was the motivation behind the creation of the group and why this approach to Black empowerment?
ME: The motivation came out of the pandemic and the increase in police brutality. We were building our real estate portfolio for personal gain, but quickly realized that during the pandemic, a lot of Black people were being displaced and becoming homeless. So we created EVOPIA to have an online place where people can join, and chat about issues that pertain to us….especially important topics like home ownership.
AFRO: How does membership in the group work—what is criteria for joining and maintaining membership, what are the benefits, what protections for members’ investments, etc.?
ME: Membership is completely free. Some of our members will be invited to partner with us on real estate projects and co-work with us at our in Atlanta. We also offer regular updates on our journey to create affordable housing opportunities and content from Black journalists and podcasts as well.
AFRO: Briefly discuss some of the group’s projects thus far.
ME: One of our major projects is Evo Haven. Evo Haven is a container community that uses renewable energy sources to provide sustainable living solutions that are affordable. It’s a great entryway to homeownership; we see Evo Haven as the “Tesla” of real estate.
AFRO: What has the reception been to the group and its projects?
ME: The reception has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive. There have been some hurdles with zoning, but we hired a zoning attorney to assist with that.
AFRO: Is this going to be focused more in Atlanta or is this a national initiative?
ME: This is a national initiative that is being birthed in Atlanta. We are open to starting a Evo Haven community in other states, but those states would need to express interest.
AFRO: Tell me a little about you as a couple and how your relationship both inspired this initiative and has been impacted by it.
ME: Majesty began his career in the cryptocurrency business and I started mine in corporate communications. While we were dating, we started a business consulting firm and then moved into real estate shortly after. Once the pandemic hit, we had to change our business model and saw the need for affordable housing rise drastically. We soon discovered that it was much quicker to build container communities rather than renovate property. So this is what birthed Evo Haven. We are currently working on the model and have partnership opportunities available. You may find more information at: www.evohaven.com