May 22, 2011

Boley, Oklahoma wins $10,000 from Reader's Digest

"The most enterprising, and in many ways the most interesting of the Negro towns in the U.S."
--Booker T. Washington, 1904

Boley, Oklahoma, one of the nation’s oldest and largest historic black town, has won $10,000 for economic development in a Reader's Digest contest, We Hear You America.

The contest is a national grassroots effort created in response to stories of towns facing economic hardship during the recession. In addition to the winning checks, the winners will receive promotional support through coverage in many Reader's Digest Community media outlets including flagship publication Reader's Digest.

The award is a great example of how a rural town can capitalize on its rich heritage and cultural history, maximizing both for economic development and new investment. Congratulations, Boley!  

According to Boley's website, a group has been working industriously to rejuvenate the town. Dr. Ernest L. Holloway, President Emeritus of Langston University heads up the group. Citizens, both present and former residents, are working under the auspices of Boley Economic Development and Revitalization Association (BEDRA), a non-profit organization the town had formed previously. Several committees are working in the areas of agriculture; business and economic development; education; fundraising; government; publicity and public relations; tourism and religion. In addition, a grant writer has been aggressively working with several state and federal agencies to acquire grants for the town.

Boley is a National Treasure and a registered landmark with the National Historical Preservation, U S Department of Interior and the State of Oklahoma's Historical Preservation Office. 

More details here.

Check out Boley's Facebook page!