SPOKANE, Wash. - The East Central Community Center serves to improve the lives of children and families in east Spokane through various educational and social services.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outbreak Center moved into the center last year and has asked the building get a new name. So now the city is looking to the public to help decide that name.
The city has created a list of other possible names for consideration. The options recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to Spokane as well as names that have geographic or historical significance. These options include: Lydia Sims, Peter Barrow, Emmett Holmes, Liberty, Underhill, Martin Luther King Jr. Outreach, and East Central.
What do you think the Center should be named? Vote on the options HERE. Read more about what each name means below. (Descriptions provided by the City of Spokane.)
The deadline to #NameTheCenter is Friday, June 21
Lydia Sims Community Center
Lydia Sims was the first African American department manager in the City of Spokane, serving as the City's human resources director. She was also the first woman president of Spokane's NAACP Chapter. As president, Sims established an annual job fair focusing on finding job opportunities for ethnic minorities and focused primarily on attracting black high school and college students.
Peter Barrow Community Center
Reverend Peter Barrow was born into slavery in 1840. He fought in the Civil War as part of the Union Army and served in the Mississippi State Legislature during Reconstruction. Barrow and his family later moved to Spokane and established Calvary Baptist Church, the oldest historically black church in our city.
Emmett Holmes Community Center
Emmett Holmes began his political involvement at just 16 years old. His political awareness led to multiple political appointments including deputy county treasurer of Spokane County and postmaster in the Washington State House of Representatives and Senate. He also helped establish Calvary Baptist Church and the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. These two churches would become the twin centers of Spokane's black community.
Liberty Community Center
The original Liberty Park was once Spokane's recreation destination, with a swimming hole, cliffs, croquet courts and tennis. However, in the 1960s much of the park was relocated to make room for Interstate 90. Today Liberty Park has a pool, playgrounds, basketball courts and old historic ruins that can be explored.
Underhill Community Center
Underhill Park was originally called Underhill Playfield and was designed to be a field sport recreation destination. The playfield had three ball fields, a tennis court, wading pool and playground equipment. Today Underhill Park is connected to Liberty Park via the Ben Burr Trail and other park amenities include baseball fields, tennis courts, volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, soccer/football, splash pads and playground equipment.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Outreach Center
For more than 40 years the Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Outreach Center has served the Spokane community. In the 1970s a grassroots committee created the Southeast Spokane Youth Center, which later became the Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Outreach Center. The committee recognized the need for a year-round program that would support economically disadvantaged youth through recreation, education and cultural programs.
East Central Community Center
Let us know if you would like the Center's name to remain East Central Community Center.
The East Central Community Center was founded by the League of Women for Community Action and the Plan Commission, to reflect the needs and desires of the East Central community, over 40 years ago. The first of its kind in Spokane, East Central Community Center was designed to be a place for seniors to gather, for children to play, to provide assistance for families and as an anchor of the East Central Community spirit.
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