Student leaders assist with Selma relief efforts



Alabama State University student leaders are taking the initiative to assist in the unloading of relief supplies that were purchased by several civic organizations and citizens in Montgomery. Pictured are Isaiah Brunson, Reginald Flowers and Dylan Stallworth unloading packaged bottle water and other supplies for residents who were severely affected by the recent tornado that hit Selma on last week.

Maya Mccord, Staff Reporter/Writer

Alabama State University student leaders, led by Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Malinda Swoope, Ph.D., State Rep. Penni McClammy (District 76), and a convoy of local volunteers assembled together on Jan. 27 in a combined effort to provide relief to those affected by the tornado.
On Jan. 12, 2023, destructive twisters and violent storms swept through Selma, Alabama. In the aftermath of these storms, many survivors were pulled from collapsed houses and rubble. There were at least nine people killed as the storm moved through central Alabama. Many residents were left stunned as they attempted to salvage what was left of their homes and belongings.
McClammy (District 76) partnered with the community and Alabama State University with the mission of helping those affected by the Selma Tornados, calling it the “Selma Relief Efforts.”
A press conference was held in front of the Dunn-Oliver Acadome to express gratitude to the community, sponsors, and Alabama State for their support at 9:30 a.m. Although there were still over 50 additional sponsors that had a part in making the Selma Relief Efforts a reality, student groups that were in attendance included the Student Government Association (SGA), Miss ASU and the Royal Court, Golden Ambassador members, leaders from the Student Orientation Services (SOS) and Citizens that Care Inc.
An 18-wheeler filled with supplies (blankets, water, toiletry items, personal hygiene products, coats, jackets, etc.) stood as the backdrop for the press conference.
Swoope recognized everyone who was riding the bus to Selma.
“Our mission today is to assist those in Selma, Alabama, who have been affected by the devastating tornadoes of January 12,” she said. “The majority of our volunteers come from ASU’s student body, led by our Student Government President Dylan Stallworth and Miss Alabama State University Aleah Robinson and her Royal Court, along with our SOS Leaders and Golden Ambassadors, who all played pivotal roles in Bama State’s outreach to Selma’s citizens.”
McClammy explained what her team and Citizens that Care Inc. went through after hearing about the destruction of the Selma storm
“It is imperative as citizens that we make every effort to assist our neighbors in any way that we can,” she said. “After the tornados, team McClammy and Citizens that Care Inc. led by Cubie Rae Hayes, made an emergency call to action to the community for tornado disaster relief.”
She continued.
“I had been wanting to get involved in doing whatever I could do in helping all of the folks impacted by these horrific wind storms,” McClammy said. “So early on, I first led an effort to reach out to the residents of Flatwood, which is close to home in Montgomery County.”
She explained that they have already delivered one fully loaded 18-wheeler to Selma and had collected funds for the Flatwood Recreation Center Community and River Region United Way. A truck had already made a delivery to the Brownstown community and Old Kingston community in Autauga County, where seven people were killed.
“Realizing it could be you today and us tomorrow, we are blessed to be able to provide assistance and be able to lead this initiative today,” she said.
Alabama State University’s President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., Ed.D. also made a special appearance after a prayer to close out.
“I am just proud of this effort by all that is involved and particularly our students at the Alabama State University and, of course, under the umbrella of “CommUniversity” it’s not just about what happens here on this campus for those who love, live and work here, but it’s about our community and what we can do to provide relief in any way we can,” Ross said.
The relief effort was supported by generous assistance from diverse community partners, including Alabama State University, Montgomery County government, Trenholm State Community College, Selma University, Willis Animal Clinic, Chenaniah Films, That’s My Dog JR Restaurant, and others.
“This is all about a team effort with everyone sharing in the work and recognition, and that is why our Selma Disaster Relief Effort has come together so well and been a success,” Swoope said. “At ASU, we are proud to be members of the Montgomery, River Region, and Central Alabama community and this isn’t new. We have cared about our community and its residents ever since our founding in 1867. Helping others is a Hornet Nation tradition.”