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Concerned Citizens for a Better Community of Boonville

CCBC Community Center

About the CCBC

The official mission of the CCBC is "to develop, seek, organize, and/or collaborate in cultural, educational, entrepreneurial, and recreational activities, meant to benefit the present and future quality of life of our community."

Our Past

Originally established in 1980, the CCBC was established when Paul Dow, the only African-American educator in Boonville Public School system, was in jeopardy of losing this position due to two failed tax increases. African-American residents went door-to-door to help raise money so Dow could keep his job. After successfully fulfilling this objective, these same citizens, in addition to numerous others, realized more work needed to be done. These citizens joined together and formed the Concerned Citizens for the Black Community (CCBC), Inc. Kathryn Bass, Richard Brown, Eldridge Gerhardt, Arthur Rowles, Edith Rowles, Larry Rowles, and Maeola Rowles are acknowledged as the "founding parents" of the CCBC, and committed their lives to improving the community.

The CCBC currently operates out of the former Sumner School, located at 1111 Rural Street in Boonville, Missouri. Built in 1939, this historic structure functioned as an educational institution for African-American students in Boonville and surrounding communities, during the final decades of legal segregation in the United States. It was used for that purpose until 1959 when Boonville Public Schools integrated in 1959. Soon after it was closed and under much protest by its former students, Boonville Public Schools sold the building to Guy’s Potato Chips for use as a warehouse. In December 1986, as a result of Guy’s Potato Chips deciding to move its operations, the CCBC purchased the former school, renovated, and transformed it into the CCBC Community Building. This former segregated school is a unique tourist attraction and rare to any community, as it is one of the few former segregated schools in the United States whose cultural and historical significance has not been lost.

In 2011, the members changed its name from the Concerned Citizens for the Black Community Inc. to the Concerned Citizens for a Better Community of Boonville, Inc. This is one of the numerous changes the CCBC has experienced in our over three-decade long existence. Despite such changes, the CCBC remains diligent in our efforts to enhance the awareness and understanding of how learning from and honoring our past is essential to shaping our present and future. Therefore, our leaders and members remain steadfast in maintaining a balanced structure, motivated my maintaining a progressive atmosphere for all members of and visitors to our community.

The Present

Due to a decline in membership, the CCBC temporarily ceased day-to-day operations in March 2014. However, in May 2014, an Interim Board of Directors was appointed to revitalize the CCBC and reclaim its valued status in the community via fundraising, donations, memberships, community partnerships, and more. On August 26, 2014, CCBC members elected a permanent Board of Directors, illustrating their devotion to rebuilding, securing, and expanding this organization’s immediate and long-term contribution to its community.
Listed below are the CCBC Board of Directors, whose terms are effective until December 31, 2017 unless otherwise specified.

  • Tawny Brown-Warren, President
  • Natesia Jiles, Treasurer
  • Linda Perry, Executive Assistant
  • Rev. Bridget Mitchell, member
  • Layrel Fox, member

The current CCBC organizational objectives include:

  • To rebuild and modernize the CCBC organizational structure
  • Secure consistent monthly revenue stream between $1500 and $2000
  • Provide or participate in a minimum of three (3) community events per month
  • Build or rebuild partnerships, either within or outside of Boonville and the surrounding communities

The Future

The CCBC Board of Directors’ and its members recognize the importance actively engaging in ongoing thoughtful and comprehensive strategic planning to ensure our organization’s long-term self-sustainability. Therefore, we appreciate your patience as we work towards developing the strategic plan focused on our organization’s future success. Rest assured, once our plan is finalized and approved by our membership, a summary of CCBC’s future direction will be accessible via our website.