The Alabama Black Belt Foundation was founded by Hunter Lewis, co-founder of Cambridge Associates, LLC, and Cooper Holmes, a long-time resident of the region. In 2011 Lewis, interested in purchasing good land for organic farming, visited Perry County and found not only the rich land he was looking for but also astounding natural beauty, ecological biodiversity, historical significance, and a host of people who are transforming the region through their work to reverse the causes and effects of systemic poverty and economic decline. 

Lewis responded by establishing the Alabama Black Belt Foundation to support the work of these community-minded pioneers. Cooper Holmes joined the foundation as a full time director in 2016. The mission of the Foundation is to highlight and contribute to our community partners’ efforts to improve conditions in the Black Belt by working alongside them and by matching their organizations with resources and funding. The Foundation can help donors and grant organizations to identify Black Belt community services and organizations to support and can even supervise the expenditure of awarded grants. The Foundation has been active in such areas as healthcare, education, economic development, historic preservation, and environmental preservation, conservation, and justice.

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