Over the weekend, on Saturday, October 6, 2012, 16 new instructors were certified to teach Roots of Success during a day-long training in historic Gee’s Bend, Alabama — a geographically isolated community in which many local women have supported themselves by producing distinctively styled quilts since the 19th century. The training, organized by Sustainable Rural Regenerative Enterprises for Families (SURREF,) was intended to support the development of a new community-based sustainable tourism enterprise in Gee’s Bend, which aims to maximize tourism revenues by offering tourism packages that encourage visitors to stay longer, spend more, and appreciate all that the community has to offer. Community leaders hope that Roots of Success for Social Entrepreneurs can prepare local residents with the knowledge and skills they need to develop community wealth, improve destination management, and develop a business strategy and marketing campaign aimed at attracting more visitors.

Existing instructors in the area can connect with their new peers online at the ‘Certified Instructors Only‘ page of the Roots of Success website. Members of the Wilcox County community who are interested in taking Roots of Success can visit SURREF Alabama’s website for more information about how the curriculum is supporting their efforts to generate wealth and preserve cultural heritage through sustainable tourism in Alabama’s Black Belt Region.

Congratulations to our newest group of certified Roots of Success instructors!