Do you believe that community assets should stay in the hands of the community? Help the Dynamite Hill-Smithfield Community Land Trust and five other community-based organizations to lease-to-purchase the Hill Elementary School and develop it into the Hill Mutual Aid and Education Center!
Hill Mutual Aid and Education Center Project Summary
Read the full proposal here.
The Dynamite Hill-Smithfield Community Land Trust, in partnership with five other community-based organizations, will work together to develop the aging Brunetta C. Hill Elementary School into the Hill Mutual Aid and Education Center (Hill Center). The Hill Center will follow Community School principals and will partner with the surrounding schools (Parker, Wilkerson, and Tuggle), churches, and neighborhood associations to uplift the community. With programming that includes education, agriculture, housing, food, community development, art, and healing, the Hill Center will serve as a holistic community school and resource to all residents of Birmingham. The Hill Center’s location in the historic Smithfield community and its proximity to public transportation mean these resources will be available to residents across the west and north ends of the City. These areas have been historically under-resourced, and the Hill Center will be a critical tool in addressing systemic inequalities and bringing asset-based community development to these neighborhoods at a critical time.
The concept of the Hill Center grew and developed from the directly stated needs of the community members. Local community members do not want aging blighted properties transferred to parties without a plan for improvements, nor do they want development without community input. Instead, they want a community school and center that fosters healthy community interaction, healing, creativity, and community asset development. Above all, community members universally expressed that such a place should be owned by and be responsible to the local community and that it be located in the community.
With the World Games coming to Birmingham in 2022, it is more important now than ever to support community-led development. International sporting events often lead to the displacement of lower-income residents and exacerbate racial segregation. The creation of the Hill Center would allow residents to develop and thrive, and bring much needed asset-based community development to the West Side of Birmingham during a critical time.
Want to help beyond donating? Sign our petition here and contact your Board of Education elected representative and tell them to support this project!
Birmingham Board of Education Contact Information
District 1 - Dr. Douglas Lee Ragland (Huffman Academy, Sun Valley, Smith Middle, Huffman High) Email: email@example.com
District 2 - Terri Michal (Martha Gaskins, Robinson, Christian Academy, Huffman Middle, Ossie Ware Mitchell, Putnam) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
District 3- Mary Boehm (Avondale Elementary, EPIC, Glen Iris, Ramsay High) Email: email@example.com
District 4- Daagye Hendricks (Hayes, Hudson, Inglenook, Woodlawn) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
District 5- Mickey Millsap (Barrett, Oliver, Phillips Academy, Parker) Email: email@example.com
District 6- Cheri Gardner (Hemphill, Washington) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
District 7 - No current representative (Oxmoor Valley, West End Academy, Arrington, Jones Valley, Wenonah)
District 8 - Sonja Q. Smith (Brown, Central Park, Minor, Princeton, Bush, Bush Hills Academy, Green Acres) Email: email@example.com
District 9 - Sandra Brown (Norwood, Tuggle, Wylam, South Hampton, Wilkerson, Carver, Jackson-Olin) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t know your district? Find out here.
Our initial fundraising goal is $41,000, an amount equivalent to 5% of the estimated purchase price of the former Brunetta C Hill Elementary School. Dynamite Hil-Smithfield Community Land Trust and five other community groups will lease this property from the Birmingham Board of Education for ten years in a lease-to-purchase, during which time they will develop, retrofit, and maintain the building into the Hill Mutual Aid and Education Center. If DH-SCLT is unable to acquire Hill Elementary, this money will go directly to DH-SCLT, a federal 501(c)(3) non-profit, for the continued financing of their mission to develop community-based assets.