Auburn University In Alabama's Black Belt

Cultural Preservation & Awareness

Snow Hill Institute (1995)
The Snow Hill Institute was founded in 1893 by William Edwards, graduate of Tuskegee Institute and protege of Booker T. Washington. This Institute was a private boarding school that offered academic and vocational courses to southern and midwestern African Americans. As a result of desegregation in Alabama, the Institute closed its doors. However, in 1980, it was on track to be reopened by Ms. Consuela Lee, William Edwards' granddaughter. Lee organized a group of alumni and grassroots organizations to save the school. In 1995, Lee and the community contacted Auburn University's Office of the Vice President for University Outreach and the College of Architecture, Design and Construction and requested assistance with facilitating restoration of the Institute. Since initial request for assistance, Auburn University has conducted a study for the Institute which emphasized maintaining cultural and environmental surroundings, and the development of a charter school emphasizing arts, agriculture and technology. Contact: The Office Of the Vice President For University Outreach, (334) 844-5700.

Black Freedmen's Living Historical Farm For Children, Inc. (1996)
The Black Freedmen's Living Historical Farm for Children, Inc., was founded on February 24, 1994, by Ms. Ellen O. Byrd. Located on 40 acres of land in Wilcox County (actual location Furman, Alabama). This farm provides school children throughout the state of Alabama with an alternative educational experience that focuses on farming, tree identification and aquatics. Auburn University Outreach has been working with Ms. Byrd for several years on developing this educational establishment. Currently, there are professors and students from Auburn University's College of Architecture working with Ms. Byrd to develop site plans and renovate an existing building into an Environmental Education Center. This center will be used to stimulate environmental consciousness as it relates to cultural awareness, recreational activities and historical re-enactments. As a result of Ms. Byrd's vision and tirelessly work, she has introduced hundreds of school children in Wilcox County and throughout the state to the benefits of understanding how natural resources are utilized not only for survival but to improve one's personal and economical growth. Contact: Dr. Royrickers Cook, Assistant Vice President of University Outreach (334) 844-5700.

Center for Arts and Humanities Black Belt School and Library Initiatives (1996)
Schools and libraries in the Black Belt are the focal point of a collaborative effort to bring national caliber humanities opportunities to students. The "Helping High Schools through the Humanities" program was developed by Auburn University's Center for the Arts and Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts. Historically faced with limited or no resources for humanities programming, Black Belt schools and local public libraries now can participate in plays, poetry workshops, author visits, and civil rights presentations. Auburn University's Distinguished History Professor Wayne Flynt, author Linda Holmes, Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Charles Dryden, poet Sonia Sanchez, and the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company have presented extraordinary humanities events normally not accessible to students in rural communities. Other projects include historical and cultural preservation, building students' appreciation for the rich legacy of their region. Contact: Dr. Allen Cronenberg, Director Center for Arts and Humanities, (334) 844-4948.

 

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Website last updated on August 30, 2010.