Group to develop community investment in historic Idlewild

IDLEWILD – As the Historic African American Community of Idlewild, Michigan celebrates its’ Centennial in 2012, a new group has been formed to ensure the community’s rich history is properly captured and sustained for all future generations. The group, the Idlewild Community Development Corporation (ICDC), a 501c3 non-profit organization, seeks to promote, preserve and protect the heritage and resources of historic Idlewild by providing opportunities that foster economic growth and improved quality of life for local residents. The group will hold a community information meeting, Saturday, May 5, 2012 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Historic First Baptist Church of Idlewild. The church is located at 7552 Forman Road between US-10 and 68th Street.

ICDC’s vision is to engage local residents and the business and faith communities to work together to undertake developments to improve the community in sustainable ways that offer economic opportunities and preserve the community’s legacy. According to ICDC founder and President Patricia Williams “Better days are not over for Idlewild, a communityonce deemed “America’s Black Eden”, because of the many beautiful natural resources and opportunities that it afforded African Americans during the early 1900’s through the mid 1960’s. It attracted noted Black luminaries, scholars, entrepreneurs and entertainers from all over the country and the world and it was an idyllic setting for raising African American families. Subsequent decades of community despair and decline overshadow Idlewild’s early foundation. However with hard work, dedication and determination Idlewild will overcome its’ many social and economic challenges and the best is yet to come.”

Williams has galvanized a number of local and seasonal Idlewild residents who share her belief and they have established ICDC. The groups objectives are to develop and implement strategic community capacity building by: identifying and assessing community needs; identifying, inventorying and leveraging community assets; cultivating effective local, regional state and national strategic partnerships and collaborations; providing viable responsive community projects and programs; implementing and promoting best practices; and fostering community prosperity.

The ICDC is set to begin interfacing with local residents through a series of planned community assessment meetings that will create opportunities for interested persons to learn more about the corporation. The entire community is invited to attend ICDC’s first public meeting. For more information or to have an ICDC representative address your group or organization you may phone (231) 745-7125.