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African Americans in Erie County: A Trail of Shared Heritage #11

KayAnn Warner

Wednesday Feb 9th, 2022

For the month of February, the Hagen History Center will be recognizing African Americans in Erie County: A Trail of Shared Heritage (The Trail).

Trail #11: Greater Erie Community Action Committee (GECAC), 18 W. 9th Street, Erie Ben Wiley (1945-2004) was drawn to Erie from Powhatan Point, OH by a Gannon University basketball scholarship. In 1969, he became executive director of the Greater Erie Community Action Committee – a newly established War on Poverty initiative with a mission to assist low-income individuals and families in achieving economic self-sufficiency. Under Wiley’ leadership, the GECAC staff grew to more than 400 people, its clientele to 50,000. The Robert Benjamin Wiley Charter School on East Lake Road honors his legacy.

 

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GECAC FF 2oth Anniversary

For the month of February, Hagen History Center will be recognizing African Americans in Erie County: A Trail of Shared Heritage (The Trail).

The Trail is a community history project that dates back to 2013, that continues to inspire us about Erie’s Black History. Hagen History Center planned to present multiple images for each stop on the Trail, but then realized our collections lack visual materials for a few of the stops.

To help us rectify this, we are inviting readers to become Citizen Archivists.

A Citizen Archivist is a term coined in 2010 by the National Archives and describes a virtual volunteer who helps professional archivists by locating and uploading relevant information, tagging, and adding metadata to already established online archives.

Click the link for the Trail, and if you happen to have documents, photographs, maps, or other images associated with a trail number, send us a message on social media! We will be posting a few times a week, so stay tuned!