Tiffany McCarter appointed Executive Director of the African American Family Cultural Center – Chico Enterprise-Record

OROVILLE – Tiffany McCarter loves comeback stories because she has one of her own.

In 2008, when, after years of drug addiction and a lifestyle that “took from the community” instead of giving to the community, McCarter’s life hit rock bottom and she ended up in jail. It was a pivotal moment in the life of the Oroville high school graduate in 1995.

“The first half of my life, I got a lot out of the community. I was drugged and lost in the dark for sure. I had a lot of unhappy moments, not proud ones. I was living a crazy life and ended up in jail, ”McCarter said. “It was the defining moment for me. I knew I was done with this lifestyle. I was tired of being bad all the time and decided to take charge of my life. I always feel very exposed to talking about it.

The decision to “get along” led McCarter to the life-restoration ministries of Father’s Home where she found the solace, solace, guidance and support she needed to make the changes necessary to live a life. “Positive life, a life that gives. “

African American Family and Cultural Center Executive Director Tiffany McCarter at her office on Thursday, December 30, has big dreams for the center and the Southside community. (Kyra Gottesman / Mercury-Register)

McCarter stayed at Father’s House after graduating from the recovery program. She interned at Organizing Ministry School and graduated in 2014, then held the post of Director of Life Restoration Ministries until 2021. During this time, she was also member of the African American Family and Cultural Center Community Advisory Team.

In May, McCarter assumed the post of Deputy Director and Covid Awareness Coordinator at the AAFCC and on August 1, when longtime Executive Director Bobby Jones stepped down for health reasons, McCarter was chosen. to replace him.

“I never dreamed 13 years ago that this is what I would do, that this is where I would be – in a real position to give back to my community, in a position to dream for my community and be able to help. to make those dreams come true, ”she said.

McCarter said leaving Father’s House was not an easy decision, but she felt a “real pull” to branch out and give back even more than she was already doing through the church.

“I felt I had to go above and beyond and venture out to see what the world had to offer and what I had to offer and to reach more people outside of the church,” McCarter said.

The mission of the AAFCC is to “restore, recover and revitalize” South Oroville and McCarter is committed to doing so. The centre’s many programs, including an after-school program, anger management program for all ages, a community garden, the annual Kwanza community celebration and KOYO center radio station as well as new parent classes and a food bank are just a few of the ways McCarter and the center’s six staff reach people in the Southside community.

But McCarter wants to do more.

“The first thing I want to do is a community cleanup, a big cleanup, mainly because our streets are overrun with garbage. He comes out of houses, cars and trucks. I believe if we clean things up, start with a clean slate, the rest of the job won’t feel so overwhelming, so hopeless, ”McCarter said.

She also wishes to continue to make the AAFCC a place of safety, a refuge and a social crossroads.

“I want to open the doors wide to make people feel welcome. I want them to feel welcome to come have a cup of coffee or ask for help. I want them to know “we’re going to get you settled,” McCarter said.

While the AAFCC and its new executive director are no strangers to the community, McCarter said she and her staff will be “taking to the streets” in a matter of weeks to reach people in the neighborhood.

“We’re literally going to do the footwork. We’re going to walk out and meet all the neighbors within 48 blocks of downtown, ”McCarter said. “It’s a simple but not easy thing to do – go to every house – but we are going to do it so that everyone knows that the center is here and a safe space and that we are there to help them, as well as the neighborhood, to make a comeback.

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