Selma receives $3 million to fight racism

Updated: Jun. 30, 2017 at 7:19 PM CDT
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SELMA, AL (WSFA) - One of America's largest philanthropic foundations is allocating grant money to fight racism. They've granted money to 14 places across the United States, and Selma is on that list.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is awarding $24 million in grant money to help fight racism.

At a news conference, the Black Belt Community Foundation announced that Selma will receive $3 million of the $24 million grant.

Felecia Lucky, President of the Black Belt Community Foundation said that this grant is monumental not only for Selma, but for the state of Alabama as a whole.

"We want to really transform our communities," said Lucky. "We want to do it by helping our communities heal by building relationships."

Although it has not been decided what the money will go towards, Ainka Jackson, the Executive Director for the Selma Center said that while it's up to the community to decide, she has some ideas of her own.

"We have some ideas particularly around the arts," said Jackson. "For example, one of the things we would like to do is to address segregation in schools because our schools are still very segregated here in Selma."

Robert Tuner, the program director for the Truth Racial Healing and Transformation Process said that while the money won't end racism, it can help alleviate some of the pain.

"It helps provide some support for non-profits in this region who are trying to do the work and are passionate about the work, but they need to keep the lights on," said Turner.

Jackson said that she has experienced racism first hand.

"I've been called the n-word to my face. I've been denied the opportunity to exercise my constitutional rights. I have been profiled by police in my life, and I'm not even 35 years old. I have been followed around the malls and the list goes on and on and on. I'm not talking about what I read, these things were done to me personally," said Jackson.

Jackson continued by saying that if this grant money changes the heart of one person, or if one child doesn't have to experience what she did, then it has done its job.

Some of the other locations to receive funding include New Orleans, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles.

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