Carly Cortright

Help Us #NameTheCenter

Carly Cortright, My Spokane Customer Service Director, 509.625.6263


Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 10:08 a.m.

Updated: 06/19/2019

The East Central Community Center improves the quality of life for children, youth, and families in Spokane through an array of culturally responsive educational and social services. The vision of equal respect, treatment, and accessibility for all people is at the heart of the ECCC.

We need your help to name the Center for the future!

A request has been submitted by the Center’s management to name the center The Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Outreach Center. So, a process to consider new names for the Center is being launched.

In accordance with city policy, the City has created a list of other possible names for consideration. The options recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the City of Spokane, as well as names that have geographic or historical significance. These options include: Lydia Sims, Peter Barrow, Emmett Holmes, Liberty, Underhill, Martin Luther King Jr. Outreach, and East Central.

What do you think the Center should be named? Voting on one of the options is simple; follow this link to vote on your preferred option. The results will be presented to the Plan Commission, which will make a recommendation to City Council. The Council ultimately will make the final decision in the naming of the Center. If you have any questions, please email namethecenter@spokanecity.org.

The deadline to #NameTheCenter is Friday, June 21. Become a part of Spokane’s history and vote on a name suggestion today!

#NameTheCenter Name Suggestions

Lydia Sims Community Center
Lydia Sims was the first African American department manager in the City of Spokane, serving as the City’s human resources director. She was also the first woman president of Spokane’s NAACP Chapter. As president, Sims established an annual job fair focusing on finding job opportunities for ethnic minorities and focused primarily on attracting black high school and college students.

Peter Barrow Community Center
Reverend Peter Barrow was born into slavery in 1840. He fought in the Civil War as part of the Union Army and served in the Mississippi State Legislature during Reconstruction. Barrow and his family later moved to Spokane and established Calvary Baptist Church, the oldest historically black church in our city.

Emmett Holmes Community Center
Emmett Holmes began his political involvement at just 16 years old. His political awareness led to multiple political appointments including deputy county treasurer of Spokane County and postmaster in the Washington State House of Representatives and Senate. He also helped establish Calvary Baptist Church and the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. These two churches would become the twin centers of Spokane’s black community.

Liberty Community Center
The original Liberty Park was once Spokane’s recreation destination, with a swimming hole, cliffs, croquet courts and tennis. However, in the 1960s much of the park was relocated to make room for Interstate 90. Today Liberty Park has a pool, playgrounds, basketball courts and old historic ruins that can be explored.

Underhill Community Center
Underhill Park was originally called Underhill Playfield and was designed to be a field sport recreation destination. The playfield had three ball fields, a tennis court, wading pool and playground equipment. Today Underhill Park is connected to Liberty Park via the Ben Burr Trail and other park amenities include baseball fields, tennis courts, volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, soccer/football, splash pads and playground equipment.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Outreach Center
For more than 40 years the Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Outreach Center has served the Spokane community. In the 1970s a grassroots committee created the Southeast Spokane Youth Center, which later became the Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Outreach Center. The committee recognized the need for a year-round program that would support economically disadvantaged youth through recreation, education and cultural programs.

East Central Community Center
Let us know if you would like the Center’s name to remain East Central Community Center.
The East Central Community Center was founded by the League of Women for Community Action and the Plan Commission, to reflect the needs and desires of the East Central community, over 40 years ago. The first of its kind in Spokane, East Central Community Center was designed to be a place for seniors to gather, for children to play, to provide assistance for families and as an anchor of the East Central Community spirit.

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