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BBCF establishes scholarship in honor of Linden native, Rev. William Curry

The plight of dwindling communities and youth who seek their future elsewhere instead of strengthening the ranks of hometown leaders and game changers is one that has been played out time and again across the Alabama Black Belt. 

In an effort to combat that sad refrain, Dr. Arthur Dunning and Mr. Taylor Jones announce the establishment of the William Curry Scholarship for Academic and Community Leadership through the Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF). 

Rev. William Curry was born in Linden and completed high school as valedictorian at Linden Academy. After graduation, he entered the military and chose to return to his hometown in Alabama to contribute to the community that had given him a launch in life.  During an era in which many African Americans migrated out of the south, Rev. Curry committed to return as a servant leader. Even after growing up during the era of Jim Crow, through grace, he worked across the lines of difference — race, gender, political party, etc. Throughout his life in Linden, he served on the city council, the school board, as a little league coach and a minister in the A.M.E. Zion church. His passion to uplift the youth of Marengo County was unwavering, and he never minced words when confronting some of our society’s most challenging obstacles to success.    

This scholarship is designed to enhance the lives of youth in Marengo County and the Black Belt of Alabama by awarding scholarships and creating internships and opportunities for these students to return to the Black Belt, thus continuing the example of life and legacy so brightly established by Rev. Curry.

BBCF President Felecia Lucky states, “One of my favorite things to experience with BBCF is when someone approaches us with a passionate and inspiring idea of how to make the Black Belt better. We were thrilled when Dr. Dunning reached out to share his love of Rev. Curry and how he wanted to translate Rev. Curry’s shining example into the reality of actively helping and encouraging students in the Black Belt. Thanks to Rev. Curry and ultimately Dr. Dunning and Mr. Jones for lighting this torch that we are honored to carry forward.” 

BBCF is inviting donors to contribute in growing this scholarship.  Dr. Arthur Dunning and Mr. Taylor Jones have seeded this program with an initial $10,000 and will match an additional $10,000 for contributions made during calendar year 2020. The scholarship program is currently under development to ensure that it truly honors Rev. William Curry and all that he represented — integrity, work ethic, service and a belief that youth can lead and become extraordinary contributors to improving the quality of life throughout the Black Belt.