Executive Director at Prosper Birmingham
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Lead Community Organization
Launched in 2021, Prosper Birmingham is a nonprofit with a vision to build the most inclusive and thriving economy in the Southeast. Prosper works to align the region and accelerate progress towards a shared vision for transformational inclusive economic growth by incubating ideas, aligning missions and efforts, securing and investing capital, and convening entities. Prosper’s initiatives are focused on three key areas: jobs creation, job preparation and job access.
In 2022, the Magic City Match, funded by Prosper, initiative provided 13 Birmingham Black-owned business with the capital, connections and coaching necessary to grow their businesses.
Birmingham Community Lead
President at Prosper Birmingham
J.W. Carpenter serves as President of Prosper Birmingham. Launched in 2021, Prosper Birmingham is an effort to align existing initiatives, supplement them with select new opportunities, and scale a collaborative civic agenda.
History of Birmingham, Alabama
The city of Birmingham was founded in 1871 and became a hub for limestone, coal and iron ore mining and steel manufacturing in the American South. Birmingham was renowned for its rapid industrialization and urbanization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Birmingham played a critical role in the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s – it is where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and where the Southern Christian Leadership Conference organized the Birmingham Campaign to protest segregation.
In the decades since the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Black community has endeavored to reverse the effects of segregation and economic exclusion, but additional investment is needed to racial inequities in the Birmingham Metropolitan Region.
A recent Brookings Institution study reveals that the Birmingham area is creating fewer quality jobs and less access to economic resources than its peer cities.
Historic Alabama Theater sign in downtown Birmingham
Racial Inequities in Birmingham
Racial Equity Priorities
Click to explore a priority in detail.
Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Entrepreneurship and Supplier Diversity
Access to Capital (CDFIs/MDI)
HBCU and Workforce Development
Explore the dashboard to view demographic stats and key racial equity metrics.
Join Us and Get Involved!
If you are interested in partnering with Southern Communities Initiative or wish to volunteer your time, we invite you to explore the different ways you can engage.