Sewell Presents Ceremonial Checks for Over $2 Million in Federal Grants | New

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Congresswoman Terri Sewell was in Selma Thursday and Friday to officially proclaim federal grants she helped secure for a local university, two civil rights sites and the Selma Police Department.

Sewell presented ceremonial checks for $500,000 to Selma University, historic Brown Chapel AME Church and historic Tabernacle Baptist Church. The grants are part of the $3.6 million she helped secure from the National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund to preserve civil rights sites in Alabama and the $2.5 million she helped secure for preserve historic structures on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities in Alabama, according to a statement from Sewell’s office.

Selma University President Dr. Stanford E. Angion said the funds will be used to repair Dinkins Memorial Hall, which was last renovated in 1980. The building, built in 1904 and rebuilt in 1921 after a fire, houses administrative offices and classrooms. Most of the university’s 54 students are in the building every school day, Angion said.

The $500,000 grant to Brown Chapel AME Church will be used to renovate the historic church, which is currently closed to the public as the building undergoes major repairs.

Tabernacle Baptist Church officials said part of their $500,000 grant will be used to make the church, which rises above Broad Street on concrete stairs, more accessible.

The churches and Selma University were important parts of the civil rights movement. All three were meeting sites and rallying points for infantrymen who took part in the march from Selma to Montgomery to gain the right to vote for black Americans.

On Friday, Sewell presented a ceremonial check to the Selma Police Department. The funding will be used to hire additional law enforcement to patrol the city and combat gun violence. It will also help facilitate an open relationship between the police service and the community through education and training.

This public safety funding is part of more than $8 million Sewell has secured through the government’s fiscal year 2022 funding program for community projects in Alabama’s 7th congressional district, according to a Press release.

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