FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The new Ferguson Community Empowerment Center is now open for its first day, and it’s already paid for.
Several hundred people turned out Wednesday for a ceremony marking the opening of the $3 million center that will house offices for the Urban League, Salvation Army and other services. It was built at the site where a QuikTrip store was burned during rioting in August 2014 after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a black, unarmed 18-year-old, by white Ferguson officer Darren Wilson.
Wilson was cleared of wrongdoing and later resigned, but the shooting led to scrutiny that revealed racial bias in Ferguson’s criminal justice system.
National Urban League President Marc Morial calls the new center a “powerful first step” in helping the St. Louis suburb that’s still mending from unrest over Brown’s death. The center was built with donations from several businesses and organizations, including $1.4 million from the Salvation Army.