Black Belt Community Foundation awards Community and TRHT Grants

Greene County Children’s Policy Council: $1,500 grant to provide writing coaches and supplies to host a four-day writing camp for elementary, middle and high school students.
Boy Scout Troop 945: $1,500 grant to provide speakers, transportation and supplies for young and adult men to travel on an educational journey including workshops and forums to help prepare them for life.
The Mt. Hebron Community Coalition: $1,500 grant to purchase electronic equipment and supplies for public exercise activities three days a week for citizens to live healthier lives.
Center for Rural Family Development: $1,500 grant to provide stipends, field trips and supplies to support an eight-week leadership and business training for students in 8th thru 12th grade.

 The Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) is celebrating several months of hard work in completing two concurrent granting cycles with its 2019 First Round of Community Grants for 11 Black Belt counties and its first 2019 Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Selma grants for Selma and Dallas County. The Total pool of funding for Community Grants is approximately $75,000 funded across 54 different community organizations, and for the TRHT grants, approximately $24,000 in funding is being awarded to six different organizations based in Dallas County. This represents 84% of applications being funded from a total of 64 applications for community grants and 55% of applications being funded from a total of 11 applications for TRHT Selma/Dallas County grants.
This community granting cycle involved the full participation of BBCF’s large network of volunteer community associates active across its 12 county service area of the Alabama Black Belt. A key component of community granting is the ‘participatory granting’ process where communities start their own fundraising locally that are matched with funds from BBCF to create a greater collective impact in funding community enriching work across each county.
BBCF President Felecia Lucky states,”’Impressive’ is the word I have in reference to all of our grant applicants, awardees and the amazing team of our community associates and TRHT Selma grants committee and partners in engaging the community for this process. To be able to award nearly $100,000 in vital funding to 60 different organizations engaging in community transformative work is truly a blessing!”
The TRHT Selma granting cycle involved a three-month long grants application process starting in April that included four public grant seekers workshops in Dallas County and two racial equity workshops held in Selma. Of note, BBCF’s TRHT Selma place partner, The Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation produced and conducted all of the racial equity workshops that were required for applicants alongside of attendance at a workshop.
All grant recipients were announced and celebrated at BBCF’s joint Community Grants/TRHT Grants Awards Ceremony held at Wallace Community College in Selma on Sat. June 29th in the Hank Sanders Technology Center Conference Room (11AM start).
Specific details on the names of the grant recipient organizations and the type of work that will be funded is presented with photos above.

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


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.)

BBCF Community Associates raise $41,000 for foundation


This past year, you may have bought a raffle ticket, or purchased a BBQ sandwich, or a box of donuts from one of the ‘community associates’ of the Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF).
At the BBCF Community Associates Annual Retreat in December in Tuscaloosa, the volunteer community associates from the twelve counties served by the foundation raised over $41,000 through grassroots fundraising during 2016.
“This is a great achievement to boost the work and value of our community foundation. Our Community Associates Program is one of our secret assets which helps us to grow our foundation from the bottom up,” said Felecia Jones Lucky, President of the foundation.
The BBCF Board of Directors has decided to use all of the monies raised by community associates toward making small community grants ($1,000 to $3,000 per grant) in the 12 county service area. The BBCF has not been able to make general support community grants for the past two years due to funding cutbacks. “Based on the outstanding work of the Community Associates and funds raised at our Legacy Award Dinner, we will be able to make at least $5,000 in community grants, in each of our twelve counties: Choctaw, Sumter, Pickens, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Perry, Dallas Wilcox, Lowndes, Macon and Bullock counties,” said Lucky.
The BBCF has had funds from the Alabama State Arts Council to make arts grants and other specific grants for summer educational activities, support for mentoring and other special activities for African-American boys and young men and other targeted projects.
“At our retreat, we discussed ways the Community Associates could share ideas, work on joint projects and help to strengthen the foundation,” said Christopher Spencer, who is on loan to BBCF from the University of Alabama Community Projects staff to help develop, inspire and grow the BBCF.
Each of the 12 counties has a group of Community Associates from 3 to 10. “We are always looking for new associates who want to build our county chapter. We give people information about the foundation programs and we do grassroots fundraising year round, “ said Miriam Leftwich, Chair of the Greene County Associates. “We also accept checks and funds from people, who don’t want to buy raffle tickets or donuts but we know it takes grassroots efforts to make the foundation grow,” said Leftwich.
Persons interested in becoming associates or contributing to the Black Belt Community Foundation can contact the website at or visit the office in Selma, Alabama.