Black Belt Community Foundation unveils new headquarters
Published 10:36 am Tuesday, December 5, 2023
In a significant milestone for the Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF), the long-awaited dream of a new headquarters is materializing just in time for the organization’s 20th anniversary. The unveiling of the headquarters at 310 Church Street in Selma, marks a pivotal moment, replacing the current location on Lauderdale Street and promising to be a source of pride for the entire Black Belt community.
Felecia Lucky, BBCF president, encapsulates the vision behind the new headquarters in hopes that by incorporating local art, visitors to the location will see the very best side of Selma.
“By incorporating the works of Black Belt and other southern artists,” Lucky said. “Community members will hopefully see themselves and their history reflected in the best light possible when they visit.”
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The journey toward reaching the milestone involved acquiring the property on Church Street, only to face a temporary setback due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, halting renovation plans for two years. Undeterred, BBCF persisted in its commitment, resuming the project and transforming the facility into a “brand new” interior.
Serena Low, chief of staff for the foundation, spearheaded the challenging task of working with contractors to redesign and build out office and meeting spaces. Despite the arduous nature of the work, Low expressed confidence in the positive impact the revamped facility would have on the community.
“We knew that the end results would mean so much to so many in our community,” Low said.
The extensive renovations reached beyond the building’s interior, with exterior refurbishments commencing in Aug. 2023. Susie Manning, the Church Street exterior project manager, led efforts to replace windows, install security doors, enhance landscaping and construct new fences. Manning emphasized the collaborative nature of the project.
“Working with neighbors, contractors, vendors and officials from the city of Selma continues to be rewarding,” Manning said. “Because everyone is vested in the success of BBCF.”
Apart from the physical changes, the new headquarters is designed to meet the diverse needs of BBCF staff, community associates, board members and Black Belt residents. President Felicia Lucky envisions the space as a reflection of community history and identity.
“The headquarters is intended to be a fresh, new and inviting space that will support the work of BBCF,” Lucky said. “While also servicing the needs of our community.”
The facility boasts an array of amenities including private offices, large and small conference rooms, a fully equipped kitchen and a special prayer place. Notably, the new office space is a remarkable 240% larger than the previous building, underlying the organization’s commitment to expanding its capacity and impact.
A formal ribbon-cutting and Open House event are slated for early 2024, providing an opportunity for the public to witness and celebrate this transformative achievement by the Black Belt Community Foundation.