black belt

The University of West Alabama is planning to launch a program that would give future teachers scholarships and other assistance if they pledge to teach in a Black Belt community for at least three years.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the first round of scholarships for the Black Belt Teaching Corps will be awarded in the upcoming spring semester.

Dean Jan Miller says the Julia S. Tutwiler College of Education at the University of West Alabama will award 10 scholarships each year to education majors.

Kairos Center

New poverty statistics paint a sobering picture for the state of Alabama.

The nonprofit organization Alabama Possible recently released their 2016 State Poverty Data Sheet. It reveals more than 900 thousand Alabamians currently live in poverty. Though it’s an issue across the state, conditions are especially grim in Alabama’s Black Belt. In Perry County, for example, nearly half the county’s residents live below the poverty line.

Alabama jobless rate unchanged, Black Belt Region tourism

Mar 14, 2016

Alabama's unemployment rate remains unchanged even though the state added more than 8,000 jobs.

A statement from the governor's office released today says the state's unemployment rate for January was 6.2 percent, the same as the month before. Shelby County has Alabama's lowest jobless rate at 4.5 percent, and Clarke County is highest at 12.4 percent.

A coalition of environmental activists is sounding the alarm about a plan the Tennessee Valley Authority is considering for storing its coal ash.

The TVA is closing down existing coal ash pond storage facilities at 10 power plants.

Barry ash pond drain

All year long on Alabama Public Radio, we’ve been looking at water. Specifically, we’re reporting on the state of Alabama’s water supply and the health of our rivers. It’s a story of politics, pollution, and the obvious need that water is there when you turn on the tap.

Today, the topic is pollution. We'll look at how the state’s poorest communities are often hit the hardest by toxic chemicals, and how efforts to help may end up further hurting one Alabama town…

A project may shed new light on Alabama's Black Belt region. "The Black Belt 100 Lenses Project" showcases the culture of the region through the eyes of high school students. The exhibition at the University of Alabama uses photography and interviews of residents of the Black Belt to document what their culture means to them.

Doctor Heather Pleasants is Director of Educational Development at UA's Center for Community-Based Partnerships.