Black Belt Community Foundation welcomes three new team members Black Belt Roots and Deep Dedication to Service Characterize All Three

Group Photo Carolyn, Dex and Kim

Shown above (L-R -Carolyn Essex, Dexter Jackson and Kimberly Davis)

SELMA,  AL  –  June 20, 2018:  The Black Belt Community Foundation is proud to announce adding three new team members, Kimberly Davis, Carolyn Essex and Dexter Jackson, to its full-time staff, filling key positions.
Selma native, Kimberly Davis, will serve as BBCF’s new Arts Program Officer. She is a graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta and American Public University, possessing both a B.F.A and M.P.A. (in Public Administration with a focus in Human Resource Management) from these institutions respectively.

Adding to her impressive resumé, Kimberly has served our country for ten years in the Georgia National Guard while working active duty as a Human Resource Generalist, and is continuing to serve through Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, AL. Prior to joining BBCF, Kimberly had been working at Concordia College for the past four years as Lead Data & Communications Specialist.
Marion native, Carolyn Essex, joins BBCF as Office Administrator. With over ten years of experience in office administration and Associate Degrees in both Business Administration and Business Technology from Wallace Community College – Selma, she is thrilled to bring her considerable skills to bear for the benefit of BBCF and the Black Belt.
Fort Mitchell native, Dexter Jackson, now fills the role of BBCF’s Fiscal Officer having formerly served as Controller, Vice President for Business & Fiscal Affairs and Chief Operating Officer at Concordia College Alabama in Selma.  Dexter is a proud graduate of Auburn University, holding a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounting.
BBCF President Felecia Lucky states: “BBCF is truly blessed to welcome our three newest team members to the fold. All three possess deep Black Belt roots and no doubt will be working with that level of personal passion and dedication to serving the Black Belt region adding to their impressive professional skill sets and training. One of things I am most thrilled about is that each of them have already been serving the Black Belt in diverse ways for many years now, prior to their joining our BBCF family. Already possessing an understand of the region and many of the challenges we are tackling, they bring their positive sense of dedication to work with them each day!”

BBCF awards $80,000 in arts grants across Black Belt region

L to R: Carol P. Zippert and Darlene Robinson, BBCF Board President,accept grant award for annual festival

The Black Belt Community Foundation awarded $80,000 in arts initiative grants to 29 community based organizations in its 12 county service region. The awards ceremony was held Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the Hank Sanders Technology Center at Wallace Community College Selma.
Community projects benefiting through the awards include museums, community theaters, festivals and youth organizations offering concentrated arts programs. Through these individual projects, it is anticipated that nearly 22,000 Black Belt residents will be inspired, affected, or touched in some way – whether by taking a local art class, by viewing a musical or theatrical performance, or by visiting a local folk arts festival.
In Greene County, the Society of Folk Arts & Culture was awarded $2,500 for the production of the annual Black Belt Folk Roots Festival. Other awards throughout the Black Belt region included: In Bullock County, a total of $3,500 was awarded; in Choctaw County, $1,655; in Dallas County, $11,500; in Lowndes County, $2,500; Macon County, $8,500; in Marengo County, $2,500; in Perry County, $2,500; in Pickens County, $4,975; in Sumter County, $4,500; and in Wilcox County, $15,370.
Two organizations received Art Education grants of $10,000 each – Coleman Center for the Arts and Tuskegee-Macon County CDC.

BBCF President Felecia Lucky stated, “Our arts grant review committee has been incredibly impressed with the diverse spectrum of inspiring arts programs presented to us in application for 2018 grants funding. Being able to reach nearly 22,000 people across our service counties through these grants is a testament to the support we receive from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.“
BBCF was established in 2004 to support community efforts in the Black Belt that contribute to the strength, innovation, and success of all the region’s people and communities. A partnership formed in 2006 with BBCF, the Youth & Cultural Committee of the Black Belt Action Commission, and the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA), which established the Black Belt Arts Initiative.
The goals of this project are; to work in partnership with local community based organizations, to forge collaborations with local schools to advance arts education, to document and promote the region’s artistic assets, to assist arts organizations in becoming more efficient and effective and to Provide opportunities for citizens of the Black Belt region to be exposed to and participate in the arts.
Since 2006, $1,400,671 has been awarded through BBAI Arts Grants to support various arts activities across BBCF’s twelve-county service area. In total, BBCF has invested over $3.8 million from BBAI Arts, Community and other grants into regional nonprofits, based in and serving Alabama’s Black Belt.

Black Belt Community Foundation Launches Community Grants Cycle

BBCF

The Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) invites groups and organizations based in and serving Alabama’s Black Belt to apply for one-year grants for community-led activities around the 12-county Black Belt region. Community Grants support community efforts that will contribute to the strength, innovation, and success of Black Belt citizens and communities. In this 2018 cycle, grant awards will be awarded to support organizations engaging Black Belt citizens in addressing community issues through projects focusing on Community Economic Development(offer economic opportunities and/or improve social conditions), Education(provide additional instructional resources and activities), Health Services(offer resources, educate, and address health needs).

The 2018 Community Grants Program will award approximately 40 grants to community-based organizations serving within the 12-county Black Belt Community Foundation service region. BBCF typically receives over 100 proposals each community grant funding cycle. Normally, community grants are awarded in the range of $500 to $3,000. This year, each local community associates group in collaboration with a local county review grants committee will decide the range of grants for their respective county.  Potential grantees will learn the range of grants for their county at the required grant seekers workshop.
The Black Belt Community Foundation Board of Directors have agreed to match up to $5000 raised by Community Associates in each county and other local contributions by board members and supporters. This year’s total available funding pool is between $100,000 to $120,000. The Board of Directors will announce the 2018 Community Grant Awards on June 30th.
states,” “This year we are excited to support outstanding community efforts across our 12-county BBCF service area. The fact that our community grants cycle is a community-driven process being spear-headed by our BBCF community associates is further testament to BBCF’s central belief that the Black Belt communities know what is best for them. We look forward to supporting economic development, education-based, and health services related efforts that are there to strengthen our communities.”
The Black Belt Community Foundation only funds organizations based in and serving communities in our 12-county region:  Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, and Wilcox.  We anticipate that grants will be awarded in each of the 12 counties.  Projects that cross Black Belt county boundaries must include a letter of support from a partnering organization within the county where they wish to conduct the project.

BBC Foundation selected as Head Start grantee for Dallas, Choctaw, Marengo and Wilcox Counties

BBCF

Selma-based organization will provide high-quality services to the children and families of the Black Belt region. Will host community information sessions.
June 23, 2017 (Selma, AL) The Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) has been awarded over $1.4 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to oversee the Head Start programs in Dallas, Choctaw, Marengo, and Wilcox counties in Alabama. With the help of this grant, an estimated 307 children in Alabama’s Black Belt will be able to receive critical investment in their early educational development through high-quality program options.
Founded in 2004 with the idea that those living and working in the Black Belt of Alabama best know the area’s challenges and opportunities, the BBCF raises funds and distributes grants to nonprofits that are making a difference in local communities.
BBCF President Felecia Lucky states: “We are excited to be selected as a first-time Head Start grantee to provide high-quality Head Start services to children and families in the Black Belt region. With our programs, we have served over 50,000 children and families. Like Head Start, our programs emphasize the importance of starting early and working closely with families to improve academic outcomes. We were happy to answer the call to serve the community in this way, and we are ready to build on both the work of the Head Start organizations who have come before us and our successful track record of service in the region.”
U.S. Congresswoman Terri Sewell of Alabama states: “This is outstanding news for children and families in the Black Belt region. It is so important that our children are supported at an early age with educational programs such as Head Start so that their learning capabilities can be cultivated throughout their formative years. With this grant, the Black Belt Community Foundation will be able to bring valuable program offerings to children in the state that need this support the most.”

Below is the information for next week’s organizational sessions in Selma:
LOCATION: Concordia College, Wright Complex, Selma, Alabama
1804 Green Street, Selma, AL 36701 (ph: 334-874-5700)
June 27:  12pm-1:30pm and 4pm-5:30pm  Informational meeting for current Head Start staff.  This meeting will provide an overview of next steps.  The goal of this meeting is to help provide a clear view to the staff the process BBCF will follow in moving forward.
June 28:  8am-5:30pm  Job Fair. Head Start job applicants can complete their job applications.
June 29:  8am-5:30pm Call Back Interviews (Attendees will be notified in advance.)