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 85 years. Today, the agency’s broad range of programs welcome everyone in the community and include before and after school programs for youth in grades K-12, a drop in center for teens, senior programming for adults ages 55 and older, facilitated health enrollment for Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus and Medicaid insurance programs, and community wide activities for all ages, such as educational programming and special events. Each year, the Center provides services to over 200 youth registered in afterschool programs, over 1,000 individuals seeking health insurance, and 13 seniors in the Senior Program. BTW also serves as a community summer food site for the Food Bank of Central New York. While many of the agency’s goals are youth-centered, the agency also purposes to create a safer and healthier community by providing services that will assist families in crisis and bring them to a position of empowerment.

Who was Booker T. Washington?

Born on a slave farm in Virginia in 1856, Booker Taliaferro Washington is known as the foremost black educator of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Throughout his life, he became an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States.  After emancipation, Booker T. Washington moved with his family to work in the salt furnaces and coal mines of West Virginia. He put himself through school and became a teacher. 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. 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.

Many Thanks to BTW’s Many Generous Funders & Donors

Funded by:

United Way of Cayuga County, NYS Office of Children & Family Services, NYS Department of Health, CACFP: Child Adult Care Feeding Program, The Emerson Foundation, Cayuga County Health and Human Services, Partnership for Results, First Niagara Bank, Kiwanis Club, Allyn Foundation, Women’s Fund, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and the City of Auburn.

Donors, Sponsors and Contributors

  • Auburn Public Theater
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Cayuga County Prisoner Work Program
  • Ed Cuthbert
  • George Cuthbert
  • Five Star Bank
  • Home Depot
  • IMS Corp.
  • J & M Landscaping
  • Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation
  • Mark and Jill Fandrich
  • Tom Lisano
  • Matt Hoadley Plumbing
  • MEDENT-Community Computer Service
  • Metro Mattress
  • Moose Legion
  • Scott McCormick Painting Company
  • Paul Brown Court Surfacing Company
  • Upstate Paving
  • Walmart
  • Wegmans
  • Zonta Club