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To build a transformed community where justice prevails and people are equipped to fulfill their full human potential.
To create an equitable community by eradicating the systemic barriers to growth and development through the collective implementation of personal, cultural and institutional solutions from innovative models from all over the world.
In 2014, our county was the poorest county in the state. In 2016, Selma was the 8th most dangerous place per capita in the country. Broken relationships have led to broken economies leading to broken communities all in need of healing. The false narrative of white supremacy has caused us to separate ourselves--becoming very individualistic. We are all affected by the brokenness so we will all be affected by holistic healing. Violence, including racism operates on personal, cultural and institutional levels and so must our solutions beginning in three sectors: Law/Governance, Education, Economy.
The solution is the Beloved Community—an intersectional, holistic approach called the 3-by-3 Philosophy where we will use innovative models, some created by us and others from across the world. Selma will be a model of the Beloved Community bringing local transformation as well as the opportunity for people to learn from our history and our healing!
Racism operates on personal, cultural and institutional levels. Focusing on these levels in three sectors-law/governance, education, economy, Selma will be a model of the Beloved Community.
Designed to shift participants' material conditions
A. Law/Governance Programming
Parallel Governance Models
a. Beloved Community Block Clubs (BCBC
b. Circle of Elders
c. Good Trouble Citizenship School
Functional Justice Model
Holistic Street Outreach Worker Program
B. Economy Programming
John Lewis Bridge of Hope
a. The Dream Accelerator
b. Sustainable Tourism
c. The Cleveland Model where Anchor Institutions invest/buy local
C. Education Programming
Student and parent supports
a. Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom School
b. 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement
c. Parent Power Fellowship
Selma Children’s Zone
a. Baby College®
b. Academy of Arts and Civic Engagement/Innovative Learning Spaces including:
- Outdoor Classroom (Auditorium, dance studio, black box theater)
- Music/Art Upgrades
- Early College
3. Ed Farm Teacher Fellows
Designed to transform harmful narratives and simultaneously fund Selma 2.0 initiatives
Sizzle wheel for Reality TV show w/VULSI Media;
Socially conscious, culturally relevant, locally made music production investment similar to the Better Selma song previously executive produced;
Lease 50,000-watt radio station to promote narrative change and education;
Podcast with VULSI Media;
B. History/Social Justice Curricula Development and Distribution
Selma Superhero Curricula and Book design and distribution with Read Selma Read Literacy Council
Social Justice Academy curriculum and resource
Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation
Beyond Divide and Conquer: Racial Equity Training
Restorative Justice Training
Conflict Resolution Training
Designed to address pain points so people are prepared to take full advantage of institutional programs
A. Joy fund
B. The Free to Dream (F2D) program
C. Individual, family and group counseling services and community wellness activities
For more information on individual projected programs, please click here.
Ainka Sanders Jackson
8 Mulberry Road, Selma, AL 36701 | 334-526-4539
The mission of the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth, & Reconciliation is to partner with institutions to promote love, the establishment of justice, and build the Beloved Community. The Center is committed to transforming and healing the root causes of physical, political, psychological, environmental, economic and racial violence at personal, family, community and systemic levels.
Ainka Jackson is the founding Executive Director of the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation, which is committed to bridging divides and building the Beloved Community. She was previously the Metro Guardian ad Litem for the Metro Nashville Public Defender's Office, Juvenile Division where she represented children who were abused and neglected. She has also been a case manager in the foster care system, a teacher and an adult Public Defender. Born in Montgomery, Alabama and raised in Selma, Alabama, Jackson appreciates that every successful legal and legislative movement required a people movement. Therefore, she also helps to organize the community to address racial and economic inequities.
Jackson has presented at numerous conferences and institutions including, on truancy and the school to prison pipeline at the annual Samuel Dewitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocate Ministry and spoke at the United Nations in Switzerland about economic and racial equity. Jackson has also been featured in Essence Magazine for her voter mobilization efforts.
Jackson received the first annual In Peace & Freedom Award in 2016 and is a level 3 certified Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation trainer. Jackson was instrumental in Selma being chosen as 1 of 14 sites for the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative and she currently leads Selma’s programmatic work for that initiative. She is the co-creator of the Beyond Divide and Conquer: Unite and Build Racial Equity Training, which explores how the social construct of race was created to divide and conquer (especially poor whites and people of color). Using first person historical narratives, the training questions what’s the cost of racism for people of color and white people and how we can resist divide and conquer and unite and build. Jackson is a Special Advisor for the ABA Commission for Homelessness and Poverty, Special Counsel to the ABA Civil Rights and Social Justice Section, and a member of the ABA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council as well as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Class Two Fellow.
Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth, and Reconciliation
Dr. James Mitchell
3000 Earl Goodwin Pkwy, Selma, AL 36703 | (334) 876-9227
The College shares a vision of a learning-centered education that is responsive to the needs of our service area and is manifested by quality teaching, opportunities for learning, effective educational support services, and access to a quality education. Challenged by change and innovation, the College will move forward to create a future responsive to the diverse needs of students, community, and state.
A native of Ahoskie, North Carolina, the son of Sallie Austin, has three brothers; Donnell, Tommy, and Mackey, two sisters; Shawnee and Cheryl. Dr. James M. Mitchell has been in higher education for over 33 years and is a strong advocate of seamless education at all levels. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science at Shaw University, a master’s degree in Educational Administration, and his doctorate in Educational Leadership at Fayetteville State University. James and wife Priscilla are the parents of three children: Brian, Nicole and Mario. They have one granddaughter, Skylar and five grandsons, Trent, Drew, Mathew, Jorden, and Mason.
The Alabama State Board of Education appointed Dr. Mitchell as president of Wallace Community College in Selma, Alabama, in August 2000, and he is currently the college’s chief executive officer. Prior to coming to the state of Alabama, Dr. Mitchell held several administrative positions in his native North Carolina. He served Sampson Community College in Clinton, North Carolina, as an assistant to the president and later as Dean of Students Services. Dr. Mitchell was the Director of Development and College Relations at Florida Memorial College and worked with the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources/Community Development and the North Carolina Division of Purchase and Contract. During the early years of his career in education, Dr. Mitchell served Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, in several capacities. At Shaw University he began as an instructor in adult education, became a job developer, the director of university services, as well as the director of recruitment and admissions. From 1970-1973, Dr. Mitchell served in the United States Army and received an Honorable Discharge. As the President and CEO of WCCS, Dr. Mitchell was instrumental in starting the first Early College High School Program in the State of Alabama, which was housed on the campus of WCCS. He developed and completed a $38 million master facility plan for renovations and new construction. He has secured $12 million in funding for state-of-the art equipment and technology. During his tenure, he has raised over $70 million; accumulated over $15 million in reserves, and to date, the College has no long-term debt.
Wallace Community College Selma
Rev. James Perkins, Jr.
222 Broad Street, Selma, AL, 36701 | (334) 874-2111
Selma is a city in and the county seat of Dallas County, in the Black Belt region of south central Alabama and extending to the west. Located on the banks of the Alabama River, the city has a population of 20,756 as of the 2010 census. About 80% of the population is African-American.
Pastor, husband, father, teacher, public speaker, mayor, consultant, activist, and entrepreneur are but a few terms used to describe James Perkins, Jr. Why? Because he uses his abilities to serve people in every role mentioned.
James Perkins was elected mayor of Selma, Alabama first in 2000 and served through 2008. In 2020, the citizens of Selma re-elected Perkins to serve as mayor.
James Perkins is pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Selma, Alabama. He was licensed to preach, January 31, 2010; ordained in the work of Gospel ministry, December 16, 2012; and received Pastor’s Alternative for Teacher Certification through the Alabama Baptist Congress of Christian Education, July 14, 2014.
Perkins is the husband of Selma City School System, parent facilitator, Cynthia Perkins. He is a father who served as PTO president at most schools attended by their children, coached most sport teams on which their children played, and mentors many children who are not his own.
Perkins taught mathematics and computer science at Selma University where he also served as Trustee and currently teaches Christian Bible Classes at Ebenezer.
Perkins is a public speaker who has delivered speeches across the country; from Cornell University in up-state New York to Christian Love Baptist Church in Modesto, California; and to diverse audiences from military personnel in Fort Knox, Kentucky to juvenile detainees in Omaha, Nebraska.
City of Selma, Alabama
609 Lauderdale St Selma, AL 36702 | (334) 874-1126
Our vision is of a transformed Black Belt where all of our residents contribute to healthy communities and reap the benefits of our shared gifts and a productive regional economy.
We seek to consolidate many region-wide improvement efforts into a common effort with this mission: “To forge a collective stream of giving from the community and other sources so we the people of the Black Belt, can enhance our continuing efforts to lift ourselves by taking what we have to make what we need.”
Felecia Lucky’s favorite African proverb has served her well in her role as the President of the Black Belt Community Foundation. “To do something for us, instead of with us, does nothing for us at all.” After a career in finance, Felecia returned to Livingston, Alabama and fell in love with the idea of building a foundation with the people, for the people when she joined the Black Belt Community Foundation.
BBCF was established to strengthen Alabama’s 12 poorest counties known collectively as the Black Belt. In the last 14 years, fueled by the passion to provide opportunities to the region, BBCF has partnered with philanthropic organizations who want to invest in local community led driven transformation. Some noteworthy partnerships include W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, US – DHR - Office of Head Start for early childhood education, Alabama State Council of the Arts, the University of Alabama and Auburn University. Most recently, the NOVO Foundation recognized BBCF for its work with a grant to the Consortium of Southern Black Girls and Women.
Felecia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Tuskegee University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Alabama. Felecia serves as the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church in Livingston, Alabama and she is a member of the City Council of Livingston. She is married to David Lucky, and they have one daughter, Amber Nicole.
Black Belt Community Foundation
Lydia Chatmon was born and reared in the historic city of Selma, Alabama, and is a graduate of the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science and the Pennsylvania State University. For over 20 years Lydia has dedicated her time and energy to improving the quality of life for her neighbors along the East Coast and in the South. Her degrees in Political Science and Communications have afforded her the capacity to develop policy, programming, and communication plans for organizations in Alabama; Georgia; Washington, D.C.; and New York. Her integrity, humility, and concern for the well-being of others has caused her work in the areas of policy, program development, marketing, and outreach to not only be considerate of but beneficial to often marginalized communities. She views every opportunity as an opportunity to do the right thing.
Lydia currently serves as the Grants Program Manager for Selma AIR, the AIDS Service Organization (ASO) specializing in providing comprehensive care for people living with HIV and prevention education across West-Central Alabama. She also serves as the Program Manager at the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth, and Reconciliation, where she serves as the lead for the Sustainable Tourism and Bridge Lighting Initiative. A woman committed to improving the quality of life for those across the Black Belt, Lydia brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.
Dr. Avis Williams
2194 Broad Street, Selma, AL 36701 | 334-874-1600 | Fax: 334-874-1604
OUR MISSION: The mission of the Selma City School District is to provide a safe and supportive teaching and learning environment, through the collaboration and partnerships of parents and community.
OUR VISION: The vision of the Selma City School District is to be documented as a model school district where students are empowered through academic excellence to achieve success throughout life.
Dr. Avis Williams is an award-winning superintendent of Historic Selma City Schools in Selma, AL. A native of Salisbury, NC, she has served in leadership positions in the U.S. Army, as an entrepreneur and school administrator. While in the Army, she was stationed at Fort Jackson, SC, Yongson, Korea, and Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. Before becoming an educator, Avis owned a fitness center and worked as a certified personal trainer.
She received her undergraduate degree from Athens State University, master’s from Alabama A&M and Jacksonville State Universities, education specialist degree and her doctorate from the University of Alabama. She taught English and Physical Education and coached dance team and track. Avis has been an elementary, middle and high school principal. She was the
executive director of curriculum and instruction in Greensboro, North Carolina where she led instruction for over 60 schools. Prior to moving to Selma, she served as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Tuscaloosa City Schools in Alabama.
She is the author of a children’s chapter book, Welcome to Chase Shadows. Her joy comes from spending time with her daughter Briahna, running, writing and being a “dog mom” to her standard poodles, CoCo and Butterscotch. Avis enjoys public speaking and giving back to her community while working with families in need.
A graduate of Leadership Alabama Class XXIX, she is a member of the Rotary Club of Selma, the ASCD board of directors, Teach for America advisory board, School Superintendents of Alabama District 2 president, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., Alabama Alliance of Black School Educators (AL ABSE) and the Selma Chapter of the Links, Inc. Avis has created and delivered dozens of professional development and motivational sessions at national conferences and to churches, student groups, educators and leaders across the U.S. Her areas of expertise include educating children in poverty, culture transformation, strategic planning, instructional leadership and providing educational equity.
Avis was awarded the Marbury Technology Innovation award by the AL State Department of Education in 2011 as a principal and 2019 as superintendent. Dr. Avis Williams is the 2020 AL ABSE, Dr. Ulysess Byas Superintendent of the Year and a 2019 finalist for Alabama State Superintendent of the Year.
Selma City Schools
429 Lauderdale St, Selma, AL 36701 | (334) 875-3440
Where great things happen!
Hattie Shelton serves as superintendent of Dallas County School System located in Selma, Alabama. She has served thirty-four years in the field of education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent. Her goal is to continuously work within her community to support student learning in hopes of providing each child she serves the tools necessary to become a well-educated and productive citizen of her community. As an instructional leader, she has consistently demonstrated the ability to lead schools in improving student learning through use of research, data and professional learning. Her favorite quote is “Children don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”, which is most likely the fuel for her philosophy on life and community. She believes it takes the entire community working together to ensure every child has an equitable opportunity to receive a quality education is the most effective way to build a strong community.
Dallas County Schools
102 Church St # 104, Selma, AL 36701 | (334) 874-2560
Selma, Alabama is the county seat of Dallas County and was established in 1865 when the the county seat was moved from Cahaba, Alabama which also served as the state capital for a brief period. Dallas County is bordered by Autauga, Chilton, Lowndes, and Perry counties. The current population of Dallas County is just under 50,000 and spans 980 square miles.
Jimmy Nunn is a resident of the City of Selma, Dallas County
He is married to Phenicia Nunn who is employed with the State of Alabama, Department of Education as an Education Specialist- Mathematics. They have three children, Jimmy Nunn Jr., Jimicia Nunn and Jimaya Nunn.
He was born in Jemison, Alabama and is the son of Bettye Nunn and the late O.T. Nunn. He graduated from Jemison High school in 1987 and furthered his education at Alabama State University receiving in 1992 his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics and his Juris of Doctorate Degree in 1995 from Mississippi College School of law.
Jimmy’s past employment includes working for the Corps of Engineers, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; City Prosecutor, Jackson, Mississippi; Domestic Violence Coordinator-Legal Services of Alabama, Selma, Alabama; and Assistant District Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit;
In 2000, he was appointed by James Perkins, the first black Mayor for the City of Selma, to become the first black City Attorney in the history of Selma, Alabama. As City Attorney for the past 18 years, he has been the attorney for three different administrations.
Jimmy is a member of the Alabama State Bar Association, Blackbelt Bar Association and the Dallas County Bar Association. He is also a member of the Alabama Association of Municipal Attorneys where he serves as the Vice-President.
On July 17, 2018, Jimmy was elected as Dallas County’s newest Judge of Probate. Jimmy will be the first black Probate Judge in Dallas County’s history. His success in being elected as the first black Probate Judge is contributed, in no small part, to the increased voter turnout during the run-off which was a direct result of the support, prayers and hard work of the voters in Dallas County.
As Probate Judge elect, he will take office in January, 2019 with the main objective to unite Dallas County and to work as a team to elevate Dallas County to the next level.
Jimmy is a member of Shiloh Baptist Church, Selma, Alabama where he serves as the Director/Minister of Music and the assistant chairman of the deacon board.
He is grateful for his success through his accomplishments and is appreciative for many awards and certificates received. He considers the greatest gift to be when God gave his only begotten, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.
Dallas County Commission
Honorable Vernetta R. Perkins, Esq.
Attorney and Founder
The Selma-Dallas County Education Foundation is an organization founded to support the public schools in Selma and Dallas County. In stark contrast to present-day challenges, the Selma and Dallas County School Systems have historically graduated remarkable alumni; Educators, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Politicians, Entertainers, Homemakers, Activist, Writers – a plethora of hard-working everyday people who possess the unique commonality of having been educated and nurtured by the Selma & Dallas County School Systems.
Vernetta R Perkins is a Program Manager for Ed Farm, an Alabama nonprofit specializing in education, technology and innovation. In this capacity, she is part of the leadership team on the Propel Center project, an initiative designed to be a global center for innovation for HBCUs.
Vernetta is also a Special Advisor for the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation where she is a certified level 1 Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation trainer. She is also the founder of the Selma-Dallas County Education Foundation, a nonprofit created to organize alumni in raising funds for the local public schools.
Also an attorney, Vernetta has formerly served as General Counsel for Montgomery Public Schools, in Montgomery, Alabama. As General Counsel she was responsible for all legal affairs of the board of education and the school district, specializing in Title VII, Title IX, Title VI, Section 504, ADA, FMLA, FLSA and board governance matters. In that capacity, she also served as advisor to the superintendent and senior staff regarding strategic planning, public policy, community engagement, general compliance and fiscal issues affecting the district.
She is a graduate of Spelman College and University of Alabama School of Law. Before coming on staff as the attorney for MPS, Vernetta served as a full-time prosecutor for the Office of Ellen Brooks, District Attorney, 15th Judicial Circuit, part-time homicide prosecutor for the Office of Michael Jackson, 4th Judicial Circuit while in private practice handling juvenile court, family law and general civil cases. She was also formerly an associate attorney with the Montgomery law firm, Davis & Hatcher, LLC.
Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier, Esq.,
AL State Senate District 23
11 South Union Street, Suite 738, Montgomery, AL 36130. |. (334) 261-0860
Senate District 23:
Representing Butler, Conecuh, Dallas, Lowndes, Marengo, Monroe, Perry , and Wilcox counties
Senator Malika Asha Sanders Fortier drew in her activist career on roots that extended into the very center of the early civil rights movement. She was born in 1973 in Selma, Alabama. "I was born in a time of protest, when civil rights leaders would sleep in our house—as many as 50 or 100 curled up right there on the floor," she told Marie Claire. As a 15-year-old high school student in Selma, she realized that African-American students were routinely being tracked into lower-level classes rather than college-preparatory programs, regardless of their grades or test scores. The result was a new form of segregation. Sanders led a student walkout that began with just a few participants but grew into a series of marches and protest meetings that drew more than 100 students. The students formed an organization dubbed SMART—the Student Movement Against Racial Tracking. The group staged a five-day sit-in, facing down the National Guard forces called in by Selma mayor Joe Smitherman. The Ku Klux Klan erected a sign atop the school building where the students were ensconced. Sanders herself was arrested for the questionable crime of passing out leaflets. But in the end the students were victorious; impartial testing programs were implemented, and the Selma school board's white majority, which had terminated a black superintendent who had tried to take the students' side, was soon eliminated.
Fortier attended Spelman College in Atlanta, graduating with a degree in psychology. While she was there, she participated in protests including calling for the elimination of the Confederate battle flag element in the design of Georgia's state flag, and student protests against police brutality. The normal path for Fortier might have involved a job in a large city, but she returned instead to Selma. "I wasn't sure if I ever wanted to go back," she told Marie Claire. "And yet, I felt a responsibility to Selma and the South. Upon returning to Selma, Fortier became the executive director of 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement. The goal of the group was to develop young leaders to continue the legacy of the movement, of which there are yet promised fruit unfulfilled that need another generation to harvest. Fortier had attended the group's summer camps when she was younger. Fortier went on to be one of three young coordinators of the 40th Anniversary and re-enactment of the 1963 March on Washington, leading 21st Century Youth members in a chant of "I must prepare my mind, body, and spirit; we are 21st-century leaders, so let's act like it," as quoted in the Washington Times. Fortier has often addressed national meetings like the State of the Black World conference and the rapidly growing National Hip-Hop Political Convention, where she appeared in 2004. She was chosen to receive a Reebok Human Rights Award in 2002. The award carried a $50,000 grant, which Sanders plowed back into the 21st Century Youth Movement.
Fortier has sat on several boards such as the Southern Partners Fund, the Highlander Center, and the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute. She has also been featured in such as the New York Times, Utne, Essence, and on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.
Alabama State Senator District 23
Beloved Community Resolutions
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