In 1946, Fred L. Brownlee wrote a book called New Day Ascending. In it he discusses the ways in which The Brick Rural Life School worked.
…to awaken thinking, re-train habits and enliven living, unhampered by such artificial stimulants as unit credit. The most rewarding way of stimulating that process… usually follows the evening meal when the family sits around the table to talk. Such talk is easily channeled into discussions of mistakes made, ideas acquired, success accomplished, points to be clarified, puzzling problems. The seed of thought of practically all the advances made at the Rural Life School itself and the community services were planted on such occasions (Brownlee, Pg 153-154).
A 1945 pamphlet on the Story of Brick Rural Life School, “Men of the Soil” explains that “Classes would be [about], learning to do the ‘common things of life uncommonly well.” And today, we continue their legacy.
Since 2012, Franklinton Center at Bricks, Inc. has been working to become a premiere Social Justice Conference & Retreat Center focusing on agritourism, where activists, leaders, trainers, and educators from around the US gather to prepare for the next part of their work. FCAB provides a sacred space for welcoming people and connecting them into the life of the surrounding communities. Each year, FCAB hosts thousands of guests for many different programmatic and hospitality-related activities. Because of their returning visits, FCAB has been able to create opportunities for our local community programs.
In keeping with our legacy, as a place where education (in all forms) matters, our programs fall under two main focal points: Community Life and Rural Life. We understand that the Social Justice work that we do and teach is done with an understanding of the needs of this community located in rural eastern North Carolina. Our work, our training, our learning and our teachings most often occur around the dinner table while in relationship with our community, for they remain the experts.
COMMUNITY LIFE – COMMUNITY FIRST!
- Active Living
- The Annual Martin Luther King Breakfast Celebration
- The Annual Phillips/Bricks Alumni Association Reunion
- Civic Engagement & Social Action Course for Innovation Zone (I-Zone) of Edgecombe County Public Schools
- The Community Empowerment Alliance Meetings
- Cultivating Community Conversations
- Drive-Up Community Internet Access: FCAB serves as a “hotspot” and offers free on-campus broadband internet connectivity and training to community residents who can drive up to campus.
- Entrepreneurial Development in Education
- FCAB Museum & Library
- Keep US Safe – Bless OUR Home: Ecumenical Perspectives in Preventing and Minimizing Risks for Abuse in Families
- Kwanza Camp
- Percel O. Alston Institute
- USDA Produce Box Give Away (Distribution)
- Quest to the Future: An Adventure in Learning “Programa de Busqueda del Futuro” Summer Program
- Learning Pod for Innovation Zone (I-Zone) of Edgecombe County Public Schools
- Nutrition and Recipes
- Oasis in the Desert (LGBTQIA+)
- Pop-Up Internet Café: offers wi-fi access to students living in Edgecombe, Nash, and Halifax Counties.
- The Rocky Mount Area Brick Club Meetings
- Social Justice Conference & Retreat Center
- Whitakers Jr. Police Academy
- Bricks Healthy Lifestyles
- Farmers Market
- Just Food Farm Project
- Just Food Summer Collaboration with Halifax County
- Farming and Agriculture
- Farm Land Lease
- Small Farmer’s Support Project
- Orchard and Herb Garden
- Water-Accessed Camping Platform located on the Fishing Creek, an important tributary of the Tar River that is part of the Tar Pamlico River System. Along with other locations, the FCAB Camping Platform is supported by the Tar Pamlico River Foundation – Sound Rivers Water Trail. Along with other locations, our platform is a major component of a program that promotes ecotourism, educates local citizens about the area’s abundant natural resources, and exposes people to aspects of the river/estuary that would otherwise go unnoticed.
CULTURAL CONFERENCE AND RETREAT CENTER
- Report from the Director 2019
- Immersion Experiences connect diverse groups from around the world to FCAB’s community by helping them to become immersed in the social, cultural, and economic realities of the people who live in the surrounding communities. Using tours, presentations, field trips, and work projects, the immersion experiences provide opportunities to educate and engage participants around the issues faced by residents living in the region.
We know that our local community… the one immediately surrounding Franklinton Center at Bricks (which includes Edgecombe, Nash, and Halifax counties) has historically struggled with food insecurity. And COVID-19 has exacerbated that reality with layoffs, furloughs, job shortages, and all the other ways that people are without a stable income. Schools closed in early March and the ongoing basic human need of providing nourishment has been further intensified by having children home for all three daily meals.
The Bricks Active Lifestyles Project incorporates the use of our land and our history. To that end, we offer opportunities for our local community to engage with the land and safely move their bodies.
The goal of our Just Food Project is to address hunger and food insecurity in the counties surrounding FCAB by growing, producing and distributing fresh vegetables and fruits to local families (at this time – PARTICULARLY) those impacted by COVID-19. In addition, this program is providing educational opportunities in food preparation and preservation.
Through our Community First and OASIS in the Desert (LGBTQIA+) program, we will identify and train social justice champions in Edgecombe, Halifax and Nash counties through innovative and responsive social justice activities, programs and training’s. Work with area school systems to identify ways to incorporate social justice ideas into academic programs.