This is a list of the most often asked questions. If you have a question (particularly if it is not answered below), please give us a call at (252) 437-1723. We look forward to welcoming you home to Franklinton Center at Bricks, Inc.
- What are your COVID Protocols?
While we know that COVID restrictions are being changed almost daily, our Board of Trustees has requested that we open with safety precautions in place. These include asking guests be:
1. fully vaccinated prior to their arrival on campus (these should be shared with your event coordinator);
2. limit their event size per our suggestions as we write up your proposal;
3. invite guests to be masked indoors when outside of their personal rooms (unless actively eating/drinking);
4. and when possible maintain social distance.
We further ask that guests bring proof of a negative COVID Test (maximum of 72 hours prior to arriving on campus). To be kept by your event coordinator.
- Is Franklinton Center at Bricks, Inc. a nonprofit organization? We are a non-profit and, as such, all donations are tax deductible.
- Where should I send my donations? Please mail your tax-deductible checks or money order to Franklinton Center at Bricks, Inc. P.O. Box 220, Whitakers, NC 27891. We also invite you to use the GIVE button available on the website!
- Where are you located? We are located in eastern RURAL North Carolina. Our physical address is 281 Bricks Lane, Whitakers, NC 27891.
- Where can I park? For your safety, we invite you to park your vehicle on the gravel lot in front of Hospitality House 2 (Long Building on the Right Side of Campus) to ensure that it is visible. If you are not here as part of an event, please be sure that you are on campus during daylight hours (sunup to sundown).
- Do you allow hunting on your site? Our campus (and that includes the nature areas that surround it) welcomes the community. Our land is open (and used) by the public for walking, jogging, biking, hiking, fishing and farming. It is our intention that the lands be a safe space for those who gather here. NO HUNTING IS ALLOWED ON LANDS OWNED BY FRANKLINTON CENTER AT BRICKS, INC.
- Do guests have internet access? @FranklintonCent has joined the technology age as of September 2020! —Internet Name: Franklinton Center, Password: FCABHSP2
- What cellphone providers work best on campus? The providers that work best on campus are AT&T, Verizon, and Consumer Cellular. Please remember, we are in rural eastern North Carolina and there is a major digital divide.
- Do you have cable tv? In the very beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, FCAB decided to reallocate the funds previously spent on cable into building the internet infrastructure that was so needed in our local community. This investment allowed us to act as a host site for Public Schools for three counties (Edgecombe, Halifax, and Nash). Each guestroom in Hospitality House 2 (and the Common Room of Hospitality House 1) has a television for your use. While they are not smart tv’s, you are able to plug in your Roku, Firestick, Chromecast, etc. Remember, that you are always able to use our Wi-Fi on your personal devices.
CONFERENCE & RETREAT CENTER GUESTS
- Are you open to groups all year round? Yes! Please reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will joyfully put together a proposal for your event.
- My group has a reservation, where do we pick up keys and things? Wonderful to know. Your event coordinator has made arrangements with us. If you are the event coordinator and you arrive on campus during office hours (Monday-Friday 9am to 4pm) we are happy to assist you in the Administrative Building (large multi-story white building to the left of the campus)!
- What do I need to bring with me? Your authentic self! If you are staying overnight, we will provide you with bed linens and towels. If you are on medication, we suggest that you bring it with you as the nearest 24-hour pharmacy is about 20 minutes away. As for additional snacks and such, there is a grocery store only 3 miles away!
- Can I camp-out on your site? Give us a call as you plan your event and we can discuss this!
- Can we move chairs to create outdoor seating for our event? We love it that groups truly want to create a homey environment throughout the campus for the duration of their event! However, our furniture is allocated to specific buildings. In 2022, The National Black Food & Justice Alliance made a gift of outdoor chairs that can be borrowed (and returned) to the Dining Hall Foyer. If you need additional chairs/supplies consider contracting with a local vendor (Down East Tent Rentals, LLC) for outdoor furniture.
- Why does the tap water smell “weird”? Please keep in mind that while our water is regularly tested and inspected, our campus uses well water for bathrooms and showers. Bottled water is available throughout the campus for consumption, consider bringing your own reusable water bottles to help us be better environmental stewards.
- Why do I sometimes see police on your campus? While many communities around the globe suffer the problem of being over-policed and under-protected, FCAB is in an intentional relationship with our local law enforcement agencies. That relationship includes their active participation in our Just Food Program, where they are able to share food with local community members who are most impacted by food insecurity, doing safety and wellness checks. While our campus functions as a Social Justice Conference & Retreat Center, it remains open to local community members who use it for their health. The Whitakers Police Department and Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Department help our Active Lifestyles Program participants who are walking, jogging, hiking, fishing, or biking on our 244 acres of land. They are here to help. Don’t be surprised if they stop and say hi!
- Can we visit your museum? Yes, please schedule a visit in advance by calling us at (252) 437-1723.
- Which structures are part of the “plantation”? This is a tricky question to answer. While we know the soil was part of a plantation, the sites history and its buildings are part of the history of education for African-Americans beginning in 1895. The oldest usable building on campus is the Auditorium which was originally built in 1895. There is an area of remembrance on campus (Magnolia Tree and Whipping Post), this area serves as a reminder of that part of the land’s history. Also, an additional acre of land in driving distance of the campus is a cemetery that includes antebellum burials of those who were enslaved. This cemetery is still in use today.
- Why do Magnolia Trees seem to be prevalent on your campus? We wish we knew with resounding details, but we don’t! We can share some things we have learned about the magnolia… The magnolia seems to herald a remembrance of “the good ol’ day’s” for those who have a romanticized view of the plantation story. For the rest of us, that romanticized view is highly problematic.
The magnolia is a survivor who has thrived in conditions that many other species did not survive. For a site that remembers the lands history of systemic oppression of a people (starting with the Tuscarora and continuing with enslaved Africans), the magnolia can serve as a reminder that we too must do more than survive. We must find a way to thrive.
A general web-search reminds us that the magnolia has historically symbolized dignity and nobility. In:
1. ancient China, magnolias were thought to be the perfect symbol of womanly beauty and gentleness. In the American South, white magnolias are commonly seen in bridal bouquets because the flowers are thought to reflect and emphasize the bride’s purity and nobility.
2. As a genus (family Magnoliaceae, the magnolia family) of North American and Asian shrubs and trees including some whose bark has been used especially as a bitter tonic and diaphoretic in folk medicine.
3. Also, any of a genus (Magnolia of the family Magnoliaceae, the magnolia family) of American and Asian shrubs and trees with entire evergreen or deciduous leaves and usually showy white, yellow, rose, or purple flowers usually appearing in early spring.
In addition, according to Garden Guides, the magnolia tree “has been found in fossils dating back 36 million to 58 million years ago. Theories believe that the Ice Age that struck much of Europe destroyed the magnolia in the region; however, the magnolias of Asia and the Americas survived. The magnolia tree is considered to be a primitive flowering plant because fertilization takes place from beetles instead of bees. The magnolia existed long before bees or other flying insects.”