Mobile leaders are asking for input to help shape the future Africatown Welcome Center

Planning for the future Africatown Welcoming Center in the city of Mobile continues. The city has held two previous meetings where officials asked the community to think about what this important space will look and feel like when it’s finished.

Keysha Brown is the Director of Community Affairs for the City of Mobile. She said getting input from the community is paramount.

Draft of a connection concept

“The meetings were basically just a start to see what information the community needs to get their feedback and to ensure it is a welcome center designed by the community for the community and not by the city advanced or pushed back. Mobile,” she explained. “That was the most important thing: making sure the community felt their input was heard.”

From the meetings, the City of Mobile design team created three design concepts based on initial community feedback. These early concepts, which read ‘monument’, ‘city’ and ‘connection’, are very tentative. They have different possible layouts and ideas, but the same core components: restrooms, meeting rooms, and areas for informational presentations, exhibitions, and public performances.

Although progress was made at the meetings on the design of the Welcome Center, the City of Mobile launched an online survey and feedback form for Africatown community residents and other Mobilizers.

“There were a lot of people who couldn’t attend the meeting,” Brown explained. “We want to ensure that all residents of this community or descendants of this region receive contributions. So if they weren’t able to attend the meeting, this is another opportunity for them to actually have their say in how they want the building to look.”

The online survey is open until Friday June 9th. The survey allows residents who have not been able to attend previous community meetings to provide feedback on the initial design concepts. Brown said the survey isn’t just for Africatown residents, it’s for other people as well.

“We have people who live in Africatown, there are people who grew up in Africatown, and then there are Clotilda descendants who moved away,” she explained. “We want people who feel related to this area to take part in the survey so they can contribute.”

Using public feedback, these three early design alternatives will be combined into one concept that will determine the overall shape, form, color and appearance of the Africatown Welcome Center as the team fully designs it.

“The purpose of the Welcome Center is to provide a meeting place where visitors can pick up mementos or information about Africatown while visiting,” Brown said.

To access the survey, click here: