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Historical meeting place for Lansing's Black community could be lost to back taxes

GoFundMe fundraiser for The Lansing Association of Women’s Clubs building
Historical meeting place for Lansing's Black community could be lost to back taxes
Posted at 11:06 PM, Feb 16, 2023

LANSING, Mich. — One Lansing building that holds a very rich history, particularly in the African American community, is holding fundraiser.

The building has been used since the 1940s to house women's organizations, but the people who use it say they're in danger of losing it.

"They did daycare. They had activities for Black women in the 40s. It was also rented out to families, so they could have reunions," said Randy Watkins.

The Lansing Association of Women’s Clubs formerly known as the Lansing Association of Colored Women’s Clubs has been around since the 40's when a local auto magnate, Ransom Olds, gifted the building to local women of color so they'd have a place to meet.

But now, the building on the corner of Ionia Street and Butler Boulevard could be lost if the organization isn't able to pay the back taxes off.

"Now, the clubhouse finds itself with over $20,000 in property taxes. This comes at a period when they were also looking at doing some renovations to the building," said Watkins.

He says no one was checking the mail during the pandemic and missed several notices from the city about maintaining the building's tax exemption status.

Now, they've set up a GoFundMe site in the hopes of getting some help from the community to save this historical site and make some much-needed repairs.

So far, they've only raised a little over $500 of their $15,000 goal.

If you'd like to help, we have a link to the fundraiser here.

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Tianna Jenkins

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