Common Ground Sister City- Tuskegee, Alabama

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Tuskegee visit 6/8/2023
Harvey Mattox, Sandy Taylor, Town Manager-Timothy Pellerin, and Assistant Town Manager-Jennifer Janelle.

Common Ground Mission

The mission of the American Sister City Project is to afford the opportunity for the citizens of two communities, one predominately black and the other predominately white, to talk with each other, listen to each other and share with each other with the goal of broadening understanding between people.

Common Ground History

In 2016, South Berwick asked Tuskegee to be its “sister.” The two communities share size and
an identity of community pride. The two communities also have histories that overlap.
Both are in states about to turn 200 and both grew under the cotton economy of the 19th
century —Tuskegee as host to cotton plantations and S. Berwick as home to textile mills. In early
2017 Tuskegee said yes and both municipal councils unanimously approved the relationship.

Tuskegee, Alabama South Berwick, Maine
Indigenous: Creek Nation Indigenous: Western Abenaki
95.7% African American 97.3% White
9,865 population 7220 population
16.37 sq. miles 32.6 sq. miles
765 people/sq. mile 207 people/sq. mile
Median age 27.6 Median age 40.5
Median family income $43,472 Median family income $59,330
Mayor Town Manager
Incorporated 1843 Incorporated 1814

Core Values for Common Ground Sister City ~ Draft #3

Enrich the people of South Berwick and Tuskegee by building relationships between our communities.
Increase understanding of racial identity through cultural exchange and conversation.
Explore and celebrate our cultural similarities and differences.
Foster and support respectful dialogue about hard history, privilege, fear, and equity in America.

Common Ground Sister City Proclamation 

Whereas:  The communities of South Berwick, Maine and Tuskegee, Alabama is both
justifiably proud of their contributions to American history and culture,

Whereas:  Both of our communities are rich in cultural resources including music, literature and the arts, and

Whereas:  Both of our communities seek to create mutual respect, understanding and cooperation between our citizens through exchanges and the sharing of our histories and culture,

Whereas:  Citizen groups in both communities have formed to further and bring to fruition this
Sister Community relationship.

Now, Therefore, the Town Council of South Berwick, Maine proclaims its desire and intention to join with the city of Tuskegee, Alabama in supporting the efforts of citizens to engage in activities to foster a Sister Community relationship that will be the basis of exchanges and programs to foster our respective understanding and friendship.

Approved and signed this day 25 of April 2017

Russ Abell
Chair South Berwick Town Council

For more information, please visit SOBO Central