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Color Us Connected Needs a Website

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Color Us Connected Needs a Website
Tuskegee, Alabama and South Berwick, Maine, became sister cities in 2017. Our two communities, one predominantly Black and one predominantly white, hoped to encourage conversation, explore our differences, and share what we have in common. People from Tuskegee and South Berwick formed friendships, and collaborations grew through what we named the Common Ground: Tuskegee South Berwick Sister City Project.
We are raising money to create a website to share our experiences and lessons and inspire others to bring people together, promoting reconciliation and healing through personal relationships and conversation. We expect a website to extend our visibility in both cities and beyond, bring in more residents, and inspire others to form similar programs.
In 2016, South Berwick asked Tuskegee to be its “sister.” The two communities share size and a sense of community pride. The two communities also have histories that overlap. Our states became part of the Union within a few months of each other. Both states prospered under the cotton economy of the 19th century; Tuskegee was host to plantations and S. Berwick was home to textile mills, each dependent on cotton crops produced with slave labor. In early 2017, Tuskegee said yes, and both municipal councils unanimously approved the relationship.
Residents from Tuskegee and South Berwick have visited each other and formed lifelong friendships. We have addressed important national issues by working together, celebrated our intertwined histories, and discovered hidden connections. We have engaged in tough conversations made possible only because of the trust that had grown between us.
Help us broaden our message of unity and understanding by contributing to the website building project.
Our fundraising effort is through SoBo Central, a 501C3 fundraising umbrella in South Berwick.
What We Have Done :
Color Us Connected This column runs every other week in the Tuskegee News and Foster’s Daily Democrat, created to encourage conversations based on respect, honesty and a shared desire to progress beyond our nation’s historical and persisting divisions. Written by Guy Trammel, an African American man from Tuskegee, Alabama and Amy Miller, a white woman from South Berwick, Maine, the column covers a common theme from two perspectives.
On June 15, 2020, 300 people from the town of South Berwick marched silently in solidarity with the African American community in the aftermath of the May 25, 2020, murder of George Floyd.
Together We Vote
In a civic celebration of the bicentennial of both states, folks in the sister cities of South Berwick, Maine, and Tuskegee, Alabama, reached out to voters in each community  to talk about the importance of voting and obstacles. The result was a book of 200 interviews, a 9-minute video with highlights and a Together We Vote Zoom celebration drawing the communities together. The project spotlighted our shared dedication to voting and our very different experiences as part of the American electorate.
Booker T. Washington Letter Dedication
A letter signed by Booker T. Washington to Emily Tyson was donated and presented to the City of Tuskegee in 2021 at a virtual zoom event  planned by both communities. Booker T. Washington, the first principal of Tuskegee University, wrote letters and traveled the country to raise funds for student tuition at what was then known as the Tuskegee Normal School. One of these letters went to a wealthy Bostonian Emily Tyson (Mrs. George Tyson), a summer resident of South Berwick at Hamilton House.
The event to dedicate the letter was planned for Feb. 12, a significant date for both communities. Feb. 12 marks the day 207 years ago when South Berwick separated from Berwick and became its own municipality. It also marks the day when, 140 years ago, Gov. Rufus Willis Cobb signed the law establishing the Tuskegee Normal School for the training of Black teachers.
In April of 2019, Guy Trammel spent a week in the South Berwick/Eliot, Maine, school district, visiting classes from kindergarten through high school and speaking and teaching African American history through Tuskegee history and his own experience with the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Facebook page
CBS Evening News Report on Common Ground Sister City-Tuskegee, Alabama/South Berwick, Maine - Jan. 5, 2022.


Karen Eger
South Berwick, ME
Sobo Central
Registered nonprofit
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