Endowment Collaborates with Southeast Crescent Regional Commission Coalition to Promote Action and Investment in Seven Southeastern States
Recently, the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) hosted a forum with the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission Coalition titled “Building Resilience: Wealth Creation and Regional Readiness for a Federal Commission in the South.” More than 200 participants joined the webinar to engage in an early discussion on how the SCRC could assist and build communities, transitioning them from distressed to resilient, if the Commission were to begin operations.
Speakers for the event included eight community, academic, policy, and government leaders from the southeast, including Alton Perry from the Roanoke Electric Cooperative, representing a Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Network (SFLR) site.
The SCRC recently received a federal appropriation of $1 million—higher than awarded in previous years. However, the Commission lacks a Federal Co-Chair, which is needed for it to begin and conduct its work. The Coalition recently wrote, and more than 100 partners signed, a letter to President Joe Biden requesting that he make this crucial appointment.
“One of the Endowment’s primary charges is community building,” said Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President at the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. “This Commission seeks to replicate the success of other regional commissions and authorities, like the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority, that have sought to provide economic opportunities in the areas they serve, and we support this effort.”
“Many people are working tirelessly to promote meaningful impact in the lives of those individuals and families who reside in the areas this Commission was created to serve,” said Ava Gabrielle-Wise of the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission Coalition. “This forum was a needed step to have essential dialogue and continue the forward progress we, as a Coalition, are currently seeing. We will continue to work with policymakers to activate this Commission so that we can bring overall, long term economic prosperity for the citizens it will serve.”
Areas covered by the SCRC are in the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.