The Cemala Foundation - Major Initiatives
The Cemala Foundation is involved in several major initiatives:
The Cemala Foundation is a founding member and long-time supporter of Action Greensboro, which was created in 2001 to spur the community to action. Action Greensboro's over-arching goal is to enrich the local environment so that Greensboro will enjoy more and better paying jobs, enhancing quality of life for all.
Center City Park
Completed in December 2006, Center City Park is a centerpiece for Downtown Greensboro, a signature urban space enjoyed by downtown residents, office workers, visitors, and all of Greensboro's citizens. It is a town square in the heart of the city located at the corner of Elm Street and Friendly Avenue. The mission of Center City Park is to serve as a central gathering place for Greensboro's residents and visitors in a setting that is both relaxed and lively.
Greensboro Downtown Greenway
The Downtown Greenway will be a four-mile, paved, multiuse path around Downtown Greensboro for cyclists, pedestrians, and others with non-motorized means of transportation. It will showcase public art and landscaping features. Construction will be conducted in multiple phases dependent on available funding, land availability, design execution, and shovel ready status.
Early Childhood Development
For many years, The Cemala Foundation has invested in initiatives that support early childhood development. As Dr. Chris Payne, Director of the UNCG Center for Youth, Family and Community Partnerships, has said, "All children are born with the capacity to learn. It is what happens between birth and the fifth birthday that determines whether or not children will enter school prepared for school success. These early years are the most robust, yet vulnerable years of life." Reports by many including The Brookings Institution's Budgeting for National Priorities indicate that children who are nurtured from their earliest stages of development have the best chances of achieving life-long success.
Moving Forward - Public Art
In August 2009, The Cemala Foundation officially presented to the City of Greensboro, "Moving Forward," a comprehensive public art project for the Greene Street Parking Deck. "Cemala chose to contribute public art to the City to express Greensboro's positive sense of character and identity," said Susan Schwartz, Executive Director of The Cemala Foundation.
Public School Education
Since 2007, The Cemala Foundation has partnered with Guilford County Schools, the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, and the Weaver Foundation to support executive coaching for novice principals. When Cemala began this support, over one half of the Guilford County Schools principals were under the age of thirty-five.