The dream of a Global Forum for Freedom and Justice Center in Birmingham took a big step forward with the announcement of a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Birmingham City Council President William Parker was on hand to welcome U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson who made the grant announcement in front of City Hall on Tuesday morning after the weekly Birmingham City Council meeting.
The funding for the grant comes from Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). According to a Department of Commerce news release, the grant was made possible by regional planning efforts led by the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham. The purpose of EDA funds are to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.
As reported in Bham Now almost a year ago, Global Forum for Freedom and Justice announced their intention to develop a campus near the Civil Rights District.
According to several reports, local community leaders expressed concerns about the project.
It looks like the planning and feasibility grant from Commerce will help the center find a location that meets everyone’s needs.
That should be welcomed news.
As stated in the city council’s social media post, a new center could …”serve as an international gathering place focused on leadership, education, innovation and understanding, placed upon the sacred soil that gave rise to the modern Civil Rights Movement.”
Check in regularly with Bham Now for updates on this and other projects in and around the Magic City.