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Business Notebook: Murchison Choice Neighborhood Plan wins Advancing Equity Award

In other business news: FTCC welcomes new trustee; SECU Foundation awards grants


The Murchison Choice Neighborhood Plan has earned the 2023 North Carolina Marvin Collins Award in the “advancing equity” category. The awards are presented by the North Carolina chapter of the American Planning Association.

The award recognizes a project or program that meaningfully involves historically underrepresented groups, positively impacts quality of life for low- or moderate-income individuals, and achieves planning objectives that address structural inequities, according to a city news release.  

“It was important to council that we approached planning for a majority-minority community and home to a historically Black university with a sense of equity and respect for the diversity that makes our community great," said Economic and Community Development Director Chris Cauley. “Receiving this award validates the plan we created with our community at the center, supporting our City Council’s goals,”

Cauley and representatives of the Murchison Choice planning team received the award from APA-NC at the annual state conference on Oct. 11 in Durham. 

The Choice Plan is a guide for the revitalization of the public housing units while simultaneously directing positive transformation along the Murchison Road Corridor. It is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhood initiative.

The plan is centered on redevelopment of Murchison Townhouses, which includes 60 units of low-income housing. The plan is intended to replace 100% of those housing units or in other areas of opportunity as part of new mixed-income developments.

Fayetteville Technical Community College welcomes new trustee

Adam Phillips has joined the board of trustees of Fayetteville Technical Community College.

Phillips, an assistant district attorney in Cumberland County, was sworn in as a trustee at the board’s meeting in September by Judge James F. Ammons Jr., senior resident Superior Court judge in Cumberland County, according to a news release.

Ammons said he hired Phillips as an intern in 2011 and they are now good friends. 

Phillips earned an associate degree from FTCC, then earned his bachelor’s degree and law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. He was appointed to a four-year term on the FTCC trustee board by the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners.

He replaces Linwood Powell, who served on the board for eight years.

SECU Foundation awards grants to 14 community organizations

The SECU Foundation recently awarded grants to 14 nonprofit organizations through its Mission Development Grant program. Recipients each received $40,000 and the services of an experienced consultant to help meet needs in their communities, according to a news release.

The program began in 2017 as a capacity-building pilot. It has since been filling a critical gap for many North Carolina nonprofits seeking help to advance their mission of serving others. More recently, SECU Foundation added an educational element to the program for grantees beyond funding by hosting conferences with a network of professionals and consulting resources to further support their needs, the release said.

Program giving to date totals nearly $3 million, providing 73 North Carolina nonprofits the opportunity to increase their reach and impact with life-changing programs and services for children, adults, and families experiencing social and economic hardships.

“The impact of this program has been incredible and reinforces the basic needs for capacity building among nonprofits across the state,” said Jama Campbell, SECU Foundation executive director.

Grant recipients representing 11 North Carolina counties include Sandhills Family Heritage Association of Cumberland County.

Sandhills board Chairwoman Janet Brower welcomed the grant.

“SFHA is excited to receive the Mission Development Grant, which will be used for organizational capacity building. Our goal — as a result of training, leadership development, and expansion of programming — is to achieve greater impact in the Sandhills communities we serve.”

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Fayetteville, Cumberland County, business, Murchison Road, Fayetteville Technical Community College, SECU