Manasota ASALH to add first director position to Sarasota-Manatee nonprofit's leadership

Categories: Stories of Impact, BELONGING AND CULTURE: Uniting Community, EMPOWERMENT AND SUCCESS: Student Enrichment,

The local branch of the National Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is searching for its first executive director to lead the growing nonprofit after the past two years of significant growth.

ASALH's Manasota branch serves Sarasota and Manatee counties and the surrounding areas and was founded in 1996. Manasota ASALH is currently the largest of the 50 sister branches nationwide and has seen increased interest and community support since launching a pilot education program, Freedom School, in June 2023.

Since becoming a part of the region's philanthropic fabric, ASALH initially supported Black students by providing scholarships to accredited colleges or universities. In addition to its recent education work through the Freedom School program, Manasota ASALH has helped further the education of local Black students pursuing higher education dreams by supplying $643,000 in scholarships to 332 students to date.

More: Freedom School, local effort to teach Black history for Sarasota-Manatee students, returns

The organization's relaunch of the Civil Rights-era Freedom School program drew the support of national ASALH leaders during a September 2023 conference in Jacksonville and more support came in late 2023 when the organization received its first gift, a $200,000 grant from The Community Foundation of Sarasota County's Marilyn G. Harwell Fund to sustain the Freedom School program and scholarships.

Now, with a boost in capital allocated for a grant-funded salaried position from the Barancik Foundation, the organization is poised to transition to a new level under the guidance of its first executive director.

"We are thrilled and grateful to the (Barancik) Foundation," said Harold Young, president of the Manasota ASALH branch.

"Establishing this new executive position has been a strategic goal for our organization, aligning with our mission to serve our community. Thanks to this significant grant, we can finally bring this dream to fruition."

The all-volunteer organization is currently led by a board of directors tasked with searching for and hiring the executive director this summer.

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter via email to info@asalh-manasotafl.or g by June 15,2024.

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Manasota ASALH to add first director position to Sarasota-Manatee nonprofit's leadership