ADA — The African American Culture Committee of Ada will be branching out beyond Black History presentations during the month of February, and going into the community for a year-round celebration of heritage and local events.

"What we have been doing the past few years is putting on programs during the month of February," Charles Miller, AACC chairperson, said. "But our focus is larger than just the month of February and that's the point we want people to be aware of."

According to Miller, the committee was formed several years ago by concerned residents who wanted to focus on raising the quality of life within the black community.

"This committee has been together for several years," he said. "In the beginning, we focused on the past but what we're really looking forward to now is that the struggle still goes on for progress."

Miller said approximately 10 people are on the committee and they are in the process of finding grants that will fund scholarships to help educate students, and also find funding for other community projects.

"Right now we're seeking grants and monetary donations to build a community building out at Hammond Heights," he said. "We really want to look at upgrading Harris Park so that it can be used for family outings and by different groups, and we're also planning to implement some programs for the youth during summer months."

In addition to those future plans, the committee is also planning to carry out ideas from the past.

"Some of the things that we're getting ready to do is launch a voter registration campaign," Miller said. "That was part of Martin Luther King's agenda, so we're carrying that on and going out to make sure senior citizens and the youth are registered to vote.

One AACC program currently in place is the Black Heritage Essay Contest. The essay contest is broken down into four different categories with each category winner receiving a $100 U.S. Savings Bond.

For more information about the contest or the African American Culture Committee, contact Maxine McFalls at (580) 310-5857 or (580) 436-2584.

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