The Black Belt

Photo by Art Meripol/U.S. Civil Rights Trail

Alabama’s Black Belt

Alabama’s Black Belt is an area that crosses through the lower Central portion of the state. The term “Black Belt” refers to the fertile black topsoil that provided an excellent soil base for Alabama’s agriculture. The region is highly underresourced – nine of the ten poorest counties in Alabama are located in the Black Belt Region. The Foundation welcomes proposals that impact five western Black Belt counties, including Dallas, Hale, Greene, Perry, and Sumter counties.

Black Belt counties of Alabama

The Mike & Gillian Goodrich Foundation has established an Advisory Committee comprised of community representatives from each of the five Black Belt Counties that the Foundation serves. The Black Belt Advisory Committee will help guide the Foundation’s grantmaking in the region and will accept grant applications twice a year, on January 16 and June 16, for consideration at the Foundation’s next quarterly Board meeting. 

In addition, the Foundation is partnering with the Daniel Foundation of Alabama to provide easier access to the grantmaking process of each of the foundations through a common grant application. Applying organizations may apply either through the Daniel Foundation’s online portal at the link below or by requesting and submitting a paper application to the Mike & Gillian Goodrich Foundation. Each foundation will conduct its own review and decision-making process. This common application will provide organizations the opportunity to apply to each of these funders through one application.

If you have any questions or trouble with the application process please contact Casey Hinton at (205) 918-7179 or casey@mggoodrichfoundation.org.

Featured Grantees

Sawyerville Day Camp

Sawyerville Summer Camp is a free day camp for children and youth ages 6-13 living in Hale County, Alabama. Housed in the Greensboro Elementary School, the camp serves over 400 campers in three four-day camp sessions. Sawyerville Summer Camp receives funding through SAIL (Summer Adventures in Learning), a funders’ collaborative that collectively provides over $830,000 in funding to 33 summer programs across Alabama. For additional information, visit www.sawyerville.org.

Alabama Audubon Birding Tours

Alabama Audubon’s Black Belt Birding Initiative is working to bring the economic and environmental benefits of bird-based ecotourism to this economically challenged area of our State. Through field trips, special events, research partnerships, and national outreach, Alabama Audubon will leverage its expert staff and statewide reach to benefit birds and businesses in the Black Belt. For more information, visit www.alaudubon.org.

University Charter School

Located in Sumter County, University Charter School serves a diverse school population in grades PK-11th grade, delivering a high-quality educational program. The school is committed to preparing all students for personal and professional success though the discovery of individual learning pathways in a rigorous and integrated STREAM focused, project-based and place-based curriculum. For more information, visit www.universitycharterschool.org.

ArtsRevive

Using art to enhance community development, ArtsRevive provides a variety of arts-related activities for children and adults in and around Selma. Whether it’s collecting oral histories, distributing art supplies to local school children, or hosting international photography exhibits, ArtsRevive is using the arts to bring people together. For more information, visit www.artsrevive.com.