Kelsey Evans

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Lowndes County Supervisor Alleges Racism In CVB Funding

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – A Lowndes County supervisor claims race is a factor when it comes to the funding of festivals.

At Monday’s (12/17) Columbus Lowndes Convention of Visitors Bureau meeting, District 5  supervisor Leroy Brooks blasted the board, claiming the $15,000 set aside for the 2013 Juneteenth festival was inadequate.

The CVB board denies those claims, and says that they are simply following the new guidelines for issuing grants.

Festivals are now split into two categories– a tourism division and a quality of life division.

Each category is worth of a maximum of $15,000.

Brooks applied for both grants, saying his Juneteenth festival qualified in both divisions.

However, the CVB board disagreed…launching the  debate.

“They’re proposing to give me $15,000 if I could use it in the way I needed it would be fine, but they’ve put stipulations on it that makes it impossible for me to use it in a way, because most of our funding go to entertainment. And they’ve limited the amount of money you can spend on entertainment,” says Leroy Brooks, District 5 Supervisor.

“They’re very critical about looking at all of the grant applications and then making sure that what we do is done in a way that will benefit the entire city of Columbus and Lowndes County,” said Nancy Carpenter, CVB President.

Brooks’ claims of racism attracted representatives from the NAACP to the meeting.