White House awards Selma Coalition with second grant

Published 7:14 am Wednesday, November 17, 2021

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The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy awarded Drug Free Communities of Dallas County with a grant to battle drug abuse.

DFCDC Executive Director Jerria Martin announced the grant at its Thanksgiving Community Luncheon on Tuesday at Selma High School. The luncheon was for all of the community leaders in Selma and Dallas County.

The DFCDC will receive $625,000 in DFC grant funds to continue its fight against drugs in the community. It’s a five-year continuation grant. During the summer, DFCDC received a CARA grant for $250,000.

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The DFC grant program is a partnership between ONDCP and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

“Preventing youth substance will help keep our communities safe,” Martin said. “This CARA grant from the White House will help provide our local coalitions with the tools they need to apply the evidence-based prevention strategies we know will result in healthier outcomes for our youth population.”

ONDCP Acting Director Regina Labelle said that stopping drug use is a difficult task.

“We know that delaying substance use until after adolescence decreases the likelihood of a person developing a substance use disorder,” Labelle said.  “It is also important that we consider social determinants of health such as poverty, homelessness, and other conditions as we build effective prevention strategies. This funding will help support the Biden-Harris Administration’s mission to expand evidence-based prevention, treatment, and harm reduction services by providing our local partners in Selma with the resources they need to reduce youth substance use.”

The attendees ranged from city and county officials to school administrators and business executives.

Dallas County Sheriff Mike Granthum, Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn, Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson, Selma City Council President Billy Young, city councilwomen Lesia James and Jannie Thomas were the local elected officials.

Rex Jones of Cougar Oil, Becky Youngblood of ArtsRevive, Lydia Chatmon of SELMA AIR/Blackbelt Benefit Group, City of Selma Planning and Development Director Danielle Wooten and Selma High Principal Stoney Pritchett also attended.

Martin thanked everyone for supporting DFCDC.

“I couldn’t have done any of this without the communities of Selma and Dallas County,” Martin said. “We still have a lot of work to do to stop drugs.”