Alliance for Community Empowerment hosts An Evolution of Empowerment Photo Exhibition

Alliance for Community Empowerment hosts An Evolution of Empowerment Photo Exhibition 1200 800 Alliance for Community Empowerment

March 28, 2024 – Alliance for Community Empowerment hosted the unveiling of a photo exhibition entitled “An Evolution of Empowerment” at its headquarters in Bridgeport. The exhibition featured never-before-seen photos showcasing the 60-year history of Alliance, from its inception as ABCD, Inc. to the present day.

Guests were greeted by Dr. Monette Ferguson, current Executive Director of Alliance and Frank Borres, of American View Productions, who helped curate the exhibition with the help of staff from Alliance and American View Productions.

The photos were found by browsing Alliance’s files, past annual reports, and the Bridgeport History Center at the Bridgeport Public Library.

The creation of Action for Bridgeport Community Development came right after the assassination of President Kennedy and during the golden age of the civil rights movement. President Lyndon B. Johnson recognized the extreme poverty in the Unites States and passed a law that created community action agencies, such as Alliance for Community Empowerment.  After a brief introduction to the historical background that set the stage for the creation of the agency, attendees were guided on a tour through the exhibition.

The first selection of photos showcased all of Alliance’s Executive Directors, starting with one of the first, Parker Lansdale, followed by Rev. William O. Johnson, Charles Tisdale, and Dr. Monette Ferguson, in order of their service.

The rest of the photos, hung along the second-floor hallways of the building, followed in chronological order, starting in the 1960s.

Some visitors recognized those pictured, even pointing out that a photo of Cesar Batalla and Reverend Msgr. William A. Genuario also includes former United States Representative for New York’s 12th district, Shirley Chisholm. Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman to be elected to Congress.

Linda Kirkland, Executive Secretary/Youth Services Director for Alliance, recognized herself in a photo with former Executive Director Rev. William O. Johnson.

Those who attended had nothing but compliments for the exhibition. Mrs. Alterine Green-Johnson said, “I loved it, and it brought back precious memories, nostalgia. Almost brought me to tears before I saw photos of people that I started with are no longer here. But the precious memories, oh how they linger.” Mrs. Johnson worked as an assistant teacher for Alliance for many years. She is now a Site Manager at an early learning center named in her honor.

“One thing that stood out to me was the picture of what looked like a safe house, I didn’t know that ABCD was doing that in the community,” said Natalie Morgan.

The exhibition unveiling ended with light refreshments in the conference room, with a few additional photos lining the walls. Guests were also shown a video teaser of the documentary that will be released in May to showcase the history of Alliance for Community Empowerment. The photos will remain hung along the halls for visitors to see as the agency celebrates its 60th year.

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