We are excited to join Groundwork Mobile Country in welcoming Barja Wilson as its first executive director!
Barja has dedicated her career to improving the well-being of people across Alabama. Her studies in architecture allowed her to develop a keen fondness and a natural eye towards the built environment. And, through her years of public service at the Prichard Housing Authority, the City of Mobile, and, most recently, the Selma Redevelopment Authority, she has become acutely attuned to how policy decisions about housing, zoning, and use of space directly impact people’s lives. As she shared with us, “any effort to revitalize a neighborhood must take a holistic view of people and both the natural and built environment.”
A Mobile native, Barja has a clear love of the community she calls home. She’s excited to partner with people and organizations across the county to restore vitality by elevating the natural beauty and uniqueness of the region. “I have a passion for seeing the ‘underdog’ succeed. Our communities have given so much to history, but over time, and with a lack of investment, they began to struggle. I want to be part of the effort that moves us back to our heyday.” Mobile County has an incredibly rich, diverse cultural history as a former French colony, the home of Africatown, and as a waterfront port city. Groundwork Mobile County, with Barja at the helm, aims to leverage these strengths to address the environmental neglect that occurred throughout the years.
When not working, you can find Barja driving around enjoying the region’s architecture or the natural beauty and peace of the Mobile Bay. She is a recent member of the Mobile County Master Gardeners and is currently testing out her skills as a nature photographer.
We hope you join us in welcoming Barja to the Groundwork community. Stay tuned for updates from Mobile County!
Interested in learning more about the process of becoming a Groundwork Trust? Larissa Graham, Chair of the Groundwork Mobile County Board of Directors, shared reflections on the process from application to the feasibility study.