Tiffany McCarter Named Executive Director of African American Family Cultural Center – Chico Enterprise-Record
OROVILLE — Tiffany McCarter loves a comeback story 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 gave to the community, McCarter’s life hit rock bottom and she ended up in prison. It was a pivotal moment in the life of the 1995 graduate of Oroville High School.
“The first half of my life, I learned a lot from the community. I was drugged and lost in the dark for sure. I had a lot of sad moments, no pride. I was living a crazy life and ended up in jail,” McCarter said. “That was the defining moment for me. I knew I was done with this lifestyle. I was sick of being bad all the time and decided to take my life back. I feel always very exposed to talk about it.
The decision to “get together” led McCarter to Father’s House Life Recovery Ministries where she found the solace, solace, guidance and support she needed to make the changes necessary to live a “positive life, a generous life”.
McCarter stayed at the father’s house after graduating from the recovery program. She completed an internship at the School of Organizational Ministry and graduated in 2014, then served as Director of Life Recovery Ministries until 2021. During this time she was also a member of the Community Advisory Team of the African American Cultural and Family Center.
In May, McCarter took on the position 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.
“13 years ago I never imagined that this is what I would be doing, 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 to be able to help make those dreams come true,” she said.
McCarter said leaving the father’s house was not an easy decision, but she felt a “real impulse” to branch out and give back even more than she was already doing through the church.
“I felt I had to go 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. .
AAFCC’s mission is to “restore, reclaim and revitalize” South Oroville and McCarter is committed to doing just that. The center’s many programs, including an after-school program, an anger management program for all ages, a community garden, the annual community Kwanza celebration and the center’s radio station KOYO as well as new classes parenting and a food bank are just a few of the ways McCarter and the center’s six staff reach residents of 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 trash. It comes out of houses, cars and trucks. I believe if we clean things up, start with a clean slate, the rest of the work won’t be so overwhelming, so desperate,” McCarter said.
She also wants to continue to make the AAFCC a place of safety, refuge and a social hub.
“I want to open the doors wide so that people feel welcome. I want them to feel welcome to come for a cup of coffee or for help. I want them to know “we’re going to set you up,” McCarter said.
Although 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 few weeks to reach people in the neighborhood.
“We are literally going to do the footwork. We’re going to walk out and meet all the neighbors within a 48-block radius of the center,” McCarter said. “It’s a simple but not easy thing to do – go into every home – but we’re going to do it to let everyone know that the center is there and a safe space and that we’re here to help them and the neighborhood, to make a comeback.