For 15 years, LISC has been investing in Kalamazoo's historic Edison neighborhood, where decades of deindustrialization and decline had severed residents from jobs, educational opportunities and accessible healthcare. Today, gleaming new community facilities and flourishing small businesses are generating good jobs, and preparing people for employment. And resident-led projects to beautify the district and create social bonds are nudging the neighborhood into a more connected, dynamic future.
From eBay Foundation president Amy Millington to a New York State land bank counselor, LISC AmeriCorps has provided fertile training ground for some 3,000 community champions over the past quarter century. This week, we celebrate the program's success, and the legacy of leadership that's driving connection, and transformation, in communities across the country.
This is AmeriCorps week, a national celebration of community service and the extraordinary program that nurtures local talent and fuels transformation. LISC AmeriCorps is at the heart of our $1 billion in grants to community-based organizations, and of our commitment to building impassioned local—and national—leadership to show the way.
In the midst of the 1960s Civil Rights movement, Herbert Bellamy Sr. was an important black entrepreneur investing in the eastside of Buffalo. He founded 1490 Enterprises, Inc., a community center and nexus of African-American political and cultural life, to serve people living along Jefferson Avenue. Decades later, his son Herbert Bellamy Jr. has taken up the mantle, as a developer with a passion for community-driven projects—like renovating his father's old headquarters with support from LISC.
In recognition of Black History Month, we are spotlighting the Mississippi-based group MACE, a longtime LISC partner with an illustrious past rooted in the Civil Rights movement, and a deep and continuing track record of comprehensive community development. Before anyone ever called it that.