August 15, 2022

Partners Meet in Montgomery to Launch Revitalization Strategy for Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights Trail

This news release was originally published by the City of Montgomery and reshared here with permission.

MONTGOMERY – Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed welcomed Selma Mayor James Perkins, Marion Mayor Dexter Hinton and White Hall Mayor Delmartre Bethel to Montgomery over the weekend for a stakeholders meeting and panel held in partnership with The Conservation Fund.

“This is a watershed moment for our state and our region,” Mayor Reed said. “It is the first time Black Belt leaders have convened in a collaborative and deliberate way to commit to doing what is necessary to preserve, protect and revitalize communities along the Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights Trail. Furthermore, it gives us the framework moving forward to bring more partners to the table.”

“We are eager to continue uniting stakeholders across the Black Belt region,” said Phillip Howard, civil rights people and places program manager at The Conservation Fund. “I would like to thank Mayor Reed for hosting, Mayor Perkins, Mayor Bethel, and Mayor Hinton for attending. This is the first time this group of leaders has united to discuss our collective historic preservation goals. It’s exciting to work with and find ways to support the amazing local organizations, communities and everyday citizens that have worked for years to protect this rich civil rights history. It’s an honor to visit the historic places and people that participated in the civil rights movement.”

The meeting covered preservation priorities and revitalization efforts along the Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights Trail, especially as the 60th Anniversary of the historic march approaches in 2025. This was the first time leaders in Alabama’s Black Belt have formally converged to set goals and foster support for a large-scale improvements in the area. Furthermore, the meeting marked the launch of a new coordinated effort to preserve and protect hallowed ground in Alabama as it relates to each community’s tangible Civil Rights assets. The partnership was made possible through a recently executed agreement between the City of Montgomery and The Conservation Fund. In addition to the mayors and representatives from The Conservation Fund, the meeting included federal officials and stakeholders from historic Civil Rights sites in Lowndes, Montgomery, Tuskegee, Perry and Dallas Counties.

The Conservation Fund is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Arlington, Virginia. Working with public, private and nonprofit partners, the Fund seeks to protect America’s legacy of land and water resources through land acquisition, sustainable community and economic development, and leadership training, emphasizing the integration of economic and environmental goals.

City of Montgomery | Griffith Waller | 334-235-0871
The Conservation Fund | Val Keefer | 703-908-5802