Founded in 1927, Booker T. Washington Community Center is located in the southwest quadrant of the city of Auburn. Originally established to serve as a community resource for the African-American community, the Center has a rich history as a community and consumer-focused nonprofit, providing much needed services and supports for individuals and families in Auburn for over 90 years. Today, the agency’s broad range of programs welcome everyone in the community and includes after school programs for youth in grades K-12, senior programming for adults ages 55 and older, facilitated health enrollment from Fidelis Care, and community wide activities for all ages, such as educational programming and special events. Each year, the Center provides services to over 700 youth registered in our afterschool programs and our summer day camp, over 1,000 individuals seeking health insurance, and 15 seniors in the Senior Citizen Program. BTW also serves as a community summer food site for the Food Bank of Central New York during our six week summer day camp.
Who was Booker T. Washington?
Born in 1856 in Virginia, Booker Taliaferro Washington is known as the foremost black educator of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During his life time, he was known as an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to several Presidents of the United States. In 1881, he founded the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama (now known as Tuskegee University), which grew immensely and focused on educating African Americans in agricultural pursuits.
Booker T. Washington has a special connection to Auburn, NY. In 1913, Harriet Tubman died and was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn. When the city commemorated her life with a plaque on the courthouse, Booker T. Washington delivered the keynote address at the dedication ceremony to honor all of the contributions made by Tubman over the course of her life.