This historic Macon women’s center needs your help to win a share of $2 million in grants

The Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center has a chance to win a share of $2 million in grants, but needs community support to make it happen.

The center, Historic Macon Foundation and NewTown Macon announced on Tuesday the opportunity to secure vital funding for the center through the Partners in Preservation: Main Streets Campaign. The center was one of 20 historic sites around the country honoring women’s history chosen to compete.

“(Ruth Hartley Mosley) wanted to give back to the community that gave to her,” said Gerri Marion-McCord, executive director of the center. “We do need some additional support to continue, and I think it’s important that we give back to her now. It’s our turn now.”

Emily Hopkins, Macon’s Main Street manager, said people can vote for the center to receive grant money until Oct. 29. She said each email address can vote five times per day, and each time a person votes they are entered for a chance to win a trip from National Geographic.

Partners in Preservation is a partnership between American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation that awards preservation grants to historic sites around the country, according to a news release.

“We’re here to celebrate an incredible historic site and an equally incredible opportunity. As a community, we have the opportunity to show what we all know to be true. Macon is a center for culture and collaboration and pride and this contest will show just how proud we are to have assets like the Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center and that we think the entire country ought to know about them,” Hopkins said.

People can sign up to vote at voteyourmainstreet.org/macon, which is hosted by media partner National Geographic.

Ruth Hartley Mosley was a nurse, mortician and a civil rights activist, and when she died in 1975, her estate included a trust fund to establish two organization. The Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Fund helps students in need entering the health industry. The Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center was created from her home on Spring Street, according to the center’s website.

Sylvia McGee, a member of the Board of Directors, said the center represents a great amount of history that has been preserved and the opportunity to continue to preserve that history won’t be a small feat.

“Now, we go to the public, and we ask the public to support us as we vote to make our center a premiere place,” McGee said.

McGee said the center will host a celebration Sunday to kickoff the voting campaign called Rockin’ and Rallyin’ for Ruth. The celebration will be at High Street Park from 6-9 p.m. and will feature a free concert hosted in partnership with the Rhythm n Jazz Foundation.

Alex Habersham, owner of the Macon-Middle Georgia Black Pages, said the center not only preserves history, but also provides valuable tools for the community today such as educational resources and a community space.

“It’s not just for a historical purpose from the past. It’s what this community and this facility can mean for the future, and that’s very, very important,” he said.

Jenna Eason is a multimedia reporter at The Telegraph and creates serviceable news around food, culture and people who make a difference in the Macon community. Jenna joined The Telegraph staff after graduating from Mercer University in May 2018 with a journalism degree.