AllendaleStrong was founded in 2012 to protect, strengthen and revitalize the Allendale neighborhood, whose existence is threatened by the proposed development of the I-49 Intercity Highway Connector (ICC), a 3.5-mile stretch of roadway designed to link two existing segments of I-49 north and south of the city at a projected cost to taxpayers of $865 million. Conceived as a “learning-doing community,” AllendaleStrong initially invited neighbors to learn how highways decimated Black neighborhoods in previous decades, how sprawl devalued downtowns, and how some neighborhoods successfully resisted highway expansions. These meetings transformed into action against the ICC, alongside efforts to renew the city relationally, economically and environmentally. Through protests, community projects, litigation and other methods, AllendaleStrong empowers its community of willing citizens, sharing knowledge and experience with other neighborhoods, enabling each to grow to potential wholeness.
AllendaleStrong was founded by Dorothy Wiley, who moved to Allendale after being uprooted from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. The organization is a collective of members of the Allendale community, whose population of 5,000 residents is more than 90% Black. Although involved in a broad array of community projects, the organization is currently focusing on three main initiatives: opposition to the ICC; SWEPCO Park Improvements & Fundraiser to enhance the neighborhood; and the creation of a Business Boulevard, focusing on empowering the people of Allendale in their capacity to lead and participate in the investment from the Boulevard project. AllendaleStrong has also worked in partnership with groups like Community Renewal International and the Fuller Center for Housing to transform 30 blocks in Allendale from the neighborhood’s most dangerous to its safest. Through achievements such as a new corner store, a community garden, and fostering a generation of emerging leadership, Allendalestrong has had a demonstrable impact on the community, with the local crime rate having dropped by 82% since their founding.
For more information:
Dorothy Wiley, President
Drought, Erosion-Subsidence, Flooding, Heat
Environmental Justice Concerns
Air Pollution, Fighting Development/Destruction of Wildlife/Extinction of Species, Noise/Light Pollution, Port/Transit/Highway Contamination/Noise
Art Activism, Community Farm/Gardens, Community Land Trusts/Land Conservation, Community Organizing, Legal/permit challenges to development, contamination, pollution, etc, Nature-Based Solutions, Policy Reform
501c3 Tax Deductible