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Big community, bigger change

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 e Empowering Change panel discusses the movement and their thoughts on the inclusion of Mobile. Photo courtey of Empowering Change Mobile

e Empowering Change panel discusses the movement and their thoughts on the inclusion of Mobile. Photo courtey of Empowering Change Mobile

e Empowering Change panel discusses the movement and their thoughts on the inclusion of Mobile. Photo courtey of Empowering Change Mobile

Akshay Aluri, Contributing Writer

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To a stranger, Mobile is just another backward town in Southern Alabama, but at the heart of our city lies a diverse population, whose voices, for far too long, have not been heard.

This past year, the CEO of Community Foundation of South Alabama, Rebecca Byrne, asked Tony Waldrop, President of The University of South Alabama, to collaborate with organizations such as Mobile United, Austral, Springhill College, Bishop State Community College, Boys and Girls Club, The Community Foundation of South Alabama and the Office of Mayor Sandy Simpson to start the Empowering Change initiative. Multiple community leaders from each organization gathered together to decide on how to improve the future of Mobile and concluded that the inclusion of people of various races, religions and ethnicities would be the best way to bring people together.

Thus, the Empowering Change initiative, supported by grants from the Newman’s Own Foundation and the County Commission of Mobile, was created.

Of Empowering Change, President Waldrop said, “A core component of the University of South Alabama’s mission is to make a difference in the lives of the people in the Gulf Coast region. When we were approached by the Community Foundation to partner on this effort, we immediately saw an opportunity to fulfill that part of our mission and to facilitate constructive conversations about the issues and challenges of our times.”

The leaders of various collaborating organizations echo the same sentiment.

Rebecca Byrne, president of the Community Foundation of South Alabama, said, “With the partnership of the University of South Alabama and the support of the city and the county, we are excited to build upon and complement the many efforts to foster an inclusive and welcoming community in Mobile.”

The vision for Mobile through the Empowering Change initiative is “to become a community in which all persons are welcomed, included, valued, respected and empowered to thrive and succeed.” The Mobile County Commission…Continued in Due South.

Due South EIC: Sara Boone

Contact: [email protected]

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