AmeriCorps CEO Tours National Service Projects in Alabama
Michael D. Smith visited AmeriCorps projects, met with local officials, and participated in Birmingham Corps launch
BIRMINGHAM, ALA.– Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO, traveled to Birmingham, Ala., last week to see national service programs in action, meet with local leaders, participate in a Talent for Good fireside chat and join the launch of Birmingham Corps.
On Wednesday, June 15, Smith met with commissioners of Serve Alabama, the Governor’s Office of Volunteer Services, to discuss solutions to local challenges in the state of Alabama and future AmeriCorps opportunities. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, AmeriCorps and Serve Alabama have provided vital support, community response and recovery efforts to nearly 30,000 families in Alabama.
Smith then joined Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin for a fireside chat about innovative ways national service can foster a more equitable and inclusive workforce hosted by Talent for Good. Brought together by Baltimore Corps, Talent for Good is a unified collection of 31 non-profits who are innovators in workforce strategy to address public problems. During the discussion, Smith delivered remarks about equity, addressing gun violence, uniting communities and strengthening the local spirit of service.
Smith toured BENS Connect, an organization dedicated to building communities block by block through innovative and creative solutions, with DeForrest Brown, director of BEN’s Connect, and Ollie Davison, deputy district director for Rep. Terri Sewell. Smith concluded the day by meeting with AmeriCorps members and summer associates at BEN’s Connect who demonstrated their work with solar resources and gardening.
On Thursday, June 16, Smith joined AmeriCorps members serving at Cahaba Riverkeeper, an organization established to protect the Cahaba River watershed, for their morning water quality monitoring.
Smith, alongside AmeriCorps board member Fagan Harris, Birmingham Mayor Randal Woodfin and Yamini Baht, the executive director of Birmingham Corps delivered remarks at the corps’ launch event. As a new AmeriCorps program, Birmingham Corps seeks to transform service into sustainable job opportunities. Birmingham is the first city to mirror Baltimore Corps’ equitable talent model.
Each year, more than 6,600 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers of all ages and backgrounds united to meet local needs, strengthen communities and expand opportunity at more than 700 locations in Alabama. In 2021, AmeriCorps invested more than $11.5 million in federal funding to support cost-effective community solutions and work with local partners to empower individuals to help communities tackle their toughest challenges.