2829 Second Avenue South, Ste 307, Birmingham, AL 35233
The Birmingham Pledge Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation organized in 2000 to provide programs that reflect the principles and values expressed in the Birmingham Pledge. Mission Statement: To eliminate racism and prejudice all over the world, one person at a time. Major Programs Birmingham Pledge Teen Summit – a youth-led conference co-sponsored by the Birmingham Pledge Foundation and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI), now in its eleventh year. Speakers have included Fred Shuttlesworth, Dorothy Cotton, James Rotch and Lou Willie, Cedric Sparks, Sharrif Simmons, and others. In 2010 over 100 youth from 16 high schools participated. We the People National Seminar on Civil Rights – Co-sponsored with the Center for Civic Education (Calabasas, CA) and BCRI, this congressionally-funded four-day seminar in 2010 included 35 master teachers and 10 other educators. Selected nationally by the Center for Civic Education, participants in this ten-year-old seminar are expected to lead professional-development workshops and summer institutes after returning to their school systems. Over 500 educators have been trained by this program. Presenters have included Fred Shuttlesworth, Carolyn McKinstry, John Lewis, Doug Jones, Odessa Woolfolk, Donzaleigh Abernathy, and others. Birmingham Pledge Teachers Guide – Since the teachers guide was converted to CD format in 2007, it has grown to a 700+ page collection of lesson plans, teacher resources, classroom visuals, and other materials. Of special note, the 2008 edition added the complete curriculum, lesson plans, and resource materials developed in 1964 for the Freedom Schools in Mississippi. Other new materials include police notes on the Birmingham mass meetings during the early 1960s, the initial FBI report on the Sixteenth Street church bombing in 1963, information on contemporary Birmingham, and a collection of quotes for classroom visuals and discussion. Birmingham Pledge Signature Drives, ongoing year-round – The Birmingham Pledge Foundation has supported pledge drives and related activities in all fifty states and more than twenty countries. In addition to local activities, signed pledges were received last year from Saskatchewan, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Florida, and other program sites. Sites included schools, religious organizations, juvenile justice/juvenile detention programs, after-school and summer programs, and programs for college students. Sponsored Projects – In recent years Birmingham Pledge Foundation has supported “Our Mockingbird,” a 60-minute documentary by Sandra Jaffe on Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird; the Alabama Contemporary Theater’s oral history project collecting civil rights history; and Melissa Condreact’s research for a book on how the civil rights movement affected families during the 1960s. Future Projects: Projects in development include the Congress of Communities, a national conference for communities engaged in anti-racism and prejudice-reduction programs, support for Birmingham Pledge replication projects in Cincinnati and Ozark, AL, replication of the Birmingham Pledge mural project, a middle school poster project for vacant storefronts, and a collaborative relationship with the Young Lawyers Division (150,000 members) of the American Bar Association. The Birmingham Pledge Foundation is a grass-roots organization of volunteers and interns, a paid staff of one to provide program coordination, and contract employees to oversee specific projects. The Foundation regularly partners with other organizations including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Center for Civic Education, YWCA of Central Alabama, Girls, Inc., HICA, Sister Cities International, YouthServe, Peace Birmingham, Community Affairs Committee of Operation New Birmingham, Alabama Department of Human Resources, the American Bar Association, and many others. The Birmingham Pledge Foundation website (www.birminghampledge.org) is undergoing a major revision that should be available this fall. Until then, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. See also the entry for the Birmingham Pledge in the Encyclopedia of Alabama at http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1884.