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Birmingham 2022: Best of Times (World Games); Worst of Times (Gun Violence)

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Team USA enters Protective Stadium during the Parade of Athletes in the 11th Edition of The World Games held in Birmingham, AL. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times)
By Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times

2022 was a roller coaster year for the city of Birmingham.

While the first half of the year was marked by preparations for the long-awaited World Games 2022, the city also saw a rise in the number of homicides, ending the year with a grim milestone – surpassing the recent record high of 141 homicides in 1991, according to AL.com.

A deadly shooting on Dec. 22 marked the city’s 142nd homicide, making 2022 the deadliest year in Birmingham in decades.

In response to the bloodshed, The Birmingham Times and AL.com in September partnered to begin publication of the ongoing “Beyond the Violence” series, which seeks to analyze the surge in homicides and amplify a diverse array of voices to speak on the matter.

Among the highs along with The World Games, Birmingham also saw others wins, including the Stallions championship victory in the inaugural season of the new United States Football League, which played most of its games in the city, where it is also headquartered.

A number of Birmingham institutions also celebrated anniversaries in 2022, including Cooper Green Mercy Health Services, which celebrated its 50th year, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, its 30th.

Most notably, the city also celebrated the late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth’s fearless civil rights work on the 100th anniversary of his birth, naming March 18 in honor of the warrior for equality.

For a more detailed account of the year, read on.

January

1: Selwyn Vickers, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the Heersink School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, assumes the role of CEO of both the UAB Health System and the UAB/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance, while continuing as dean. Vickers replaces the retiring Will Ferniany, Ph.D., who led the Health System for nearly 13 years.

2: Maxine McNair, the last living parent of one of the four girls killed in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, dies. Mrs. McNair was 93.

3: Birmingham CEO Mike Kemp is announced as the chairman of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), making him the first Black person to chair the group.

Actor Sidney Poitier poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif. on June 2, 2008. Poitier, the groundbreaking actor and enduring inspiration who transformed how Black people were portrayed on screen, became the first Black actor to win an Academy Award for best lead performance and the first to be a top box-office draw, died Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 in the Bahamas. He was 94. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

6: Sidney Poitier, the groundbreaking actor and enduring inspiration who transformed how Black people were portrayed on screen and became the first Black actor to win an Academy Award for best lead performance and the first to be a top box-office draw, dies. He was 94.

11: Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell, one of the leading advocates for the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, is in Atlanta and fully supports President Joe Biden’s forceful speech about the need to protect the sacred right to vote. The John Lewis Voting Rights Bill would restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 after it was gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013.

11: In his 2022 State of the City Address before the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham, Mayor Randall Woodfin says Birmingham Police have taken nearly 3,000 guns off the streets, but those are easily replaced by two or three more, and gun violence is a huge public health concern for the city

16: David Northern Sr., President and CEO of The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD), announces that he will step down from his current role.

17: Famed rapper Michael “Killer Mike” Render, who has become a well-known speaker on Black issues in America, visits Birmingham on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Travel delays prevented Michael “Killer Mike” Render from delivering a planned keynote address at Birmingham’s 36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast on Jan. 17, 2022, but the rapper and activist participated in a smaller roundtable with attendees after the event ended. (Dennis Pillion, AL.com)

21: The Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. Bridge or what is also known as the “Rainbow Bridge” in downtown Birmingham closes to motorists.

25: The new United States Football League (USFL), a Fox Sports-owned league of eight teams that will play almost all of its entire 2022 season in Birmingham, launches at Protective Stadium during a powerful display of regional cooperation often talked about in the metro area but seldom realized.

26: The city of Birmingham announces that the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) will host a series of football games at Birmingham’s Legion Field each season for the next three years.

26: Miles College announces that Coach Sam Shade has been selected to take the reins of the Miles College football program. Shade is a former assistant football coach for the Cleveland Browns, Georgia State University, and Samford University and recently served as head football coach and athletic director for Pinson Valley High School.

28: Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith resigns to focus on personal matters and Mayor Woodfin appoints Captain Scott Thurmond as Acting Birmingham Chief of Police. Smith’s resignation is effective Feb. 25.

31: Birmingham Promise launches a new semester of paid internships for seniors in Birmingham City Schools. Throughout the spring, 75 seniors will gain work experience at 65 local businesses, ranging from the city’s largest public and private institutions to smaller businesses and startups.

31: Michael Suco is elected the next president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc., a role he will assume at the Birmingham-based Coke bottler Aug. 1.

February

8: The Birmingham Board of Education (BOE) takes several steps to address concerns from some city teachers who had been staying home from work because of COVID-19 cases among students and faculty. The district votes to purchase additional air purifiers for classrooms, provide additional pay for teachers who cover classes when other educators are absent. Per the BOE’s decisions, employees who participate will receive a $1,000 professional development stipend.

The Tuskegee University Student Chapter of NAHB with TU President Dr. Charlotte P. Morris, TSACS Dean Dr. Carla Jackson Bell, Interim Construction Science Dept. Head (and team coach) Dr. Charner Rodgers, and Architecture Dept. Head Dr. Qwesi Daniels at the Booker T. Washington monument. (Tuskegee University)

10: Tuskegee University’s National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Student Chapter makes history as the first HBCU to win first place in the Four-Year College Production Home Builder category. Forty-five teams representing universities, community colleges, high schools, and career technical schools across the U.S. participated in the annual student competition in Orlando, Florida.

From left, Janice Wesley Kelsey, Dr. Jesse J. Lewis and Odessa Woolfolk. (PROVIDED PHOTO)

16: MAX Transit honors Janice Wesley Kelsey, Dr. Jesse J. Lewis and Odessa Woolfolk for their contributions to the city’s history by placing their faces, quotes and names on MAX buses. Kelsey was arrested for her participation in the Children’s Crusade in May 1963; Lewis, a business giant is founder of the Birmingham Times; Woolfolk is a Birmingham civic leader, who taught school during the Civil Rights Movement and later help found the Birmingham Civil Rights institute in 1993.

21: The Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights leader and founder/president of the National Action Network (NAN), speaks at Miles College on topics that range from threats to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Critical Race Theory (CRT) and former president Donald Trump. Sharpton speaks for nearly an hour and 30 minutes in Brown Hall Auditorium filled with community members, leaders and students gathered during President Bobbie Knight’s Speaker Series.

21: The University of Alabama at Birmingham announces it would extend a pilot program instituted in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, making the submission of ACT or SAT test scores for admissions or scholarship consideration optional for applicants through fall 2024.

23: The World Games 2022 unveils its gold, silver and bronze medals during a celebratory event at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame featuring three medal-winning Olympic and Paralympic athletes and a hype video.

28: The Board of Directors of The World Games 2022 Birmingham Organizing Committee votes to ban athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus from participating in The World Games 2022 in Birmingham.

March

Samantha Williams, executive director of Birmingham Promise. (Joe Songer, For The Birmingham Times)

1: Birmingham Promise announces that Samantha Williams will be the organization’s new executive director. Williams, who has more than a decade of experience in education nonprofits, is selected after a national search to replace outgoing director Rachel Harmon, who announced last year she would be leaving for Yale Law School.

1: Mayor Woodfin tells the Metro Birmingham Kiwanis Club that the city “made its name by standing tall in the face of injustices, by daring to battle against the persecution of innocent people” and will proudly stand with the people of Ukraine. Woodfin and The World Games 2022 CEO Nick Sellers speak to Kiwanis one day after TWG2022 and the Birmingham Organizing Committee voted to prohibit Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from the July 7-17 World Games in Birmingham.

2: Autherine Lucy Foster, the first Black student to enroll at the University of Alabama, dies. She was 92. Foster in 1956 briefly attended classes at the then all-white university. She was expelled three days later after her presence brought protests and threats against her life. Foster, a graduate student studying education, had faced hostile crowds hurling racially charged threats and debris.

4: The Executive Committee of the Birmingham Business Alliance announces the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer, Ron Kitchens.

4: Nearly 20 members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, begin an annual pilgrimage through Alabama’s civil rights sites, a trip that was “undeniably difficult” compared to past years, Sewell said. Difficult because the tour was without the late Rep. John Lewis, who led the events, organized by the Washington-based Faith & Politics Institute, from 1998 to 2020.

6: Vice President Kamala Harris visits Selma, Alabama to commemorate a defining moment in the fight for equal voting rights, even as congressional efforts to restore the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act have faltered.

Vice President Kamala Harris marches on the Edmund Pettus Bridge after speaking in Selma, Ala., on the anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” a landmark event of the civil rights movement, Sunday, March 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

4: Kroger Co. announces plans to hire 161 new employees in Birmingham as the national grocery chain rolls out its e-commerce grocery delivery service in the region.

8: An African American team of developers is approved to transform 222 acres of land near Lakeshore Parkway into an estimated 900 residential units, single family, multi-family and senior housing with a project that has an estimated cost of $100 million. The Birmingham City Council unanimously approves the deal for Green Meadow Apartments, LLC., to buy the land for $1.5 million and begin a multi-phased development.

11: Two years after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a global pandemic, medical officials continue to learn how to prepare for and address public health concerns, says UAB Health Epidemiologist Rachael Lee and Jefferson County Health Officer Mark Wilson, during a virtual press briefing.

14: WIAT CBS 42 announces that Art Franklin, veteran television journalist and co-anchor of the CBS 42 evening newscasts is stepping down from his role at the station next month. Franklin’s last day on air is Friday, April 29.

14: More than 8,000 single mothers in Birmingham complete an application for guaranteed income and 110 have been selected for a pilot program, the city announces.

17: A ribbon-cutting is held for the newly developed Oak Hill area of Birmingham’s Belview Heights neighborhood, where three new homeowners look forward to getting their house keys. The ceremony is the culmination of an objective by Mayor Randall Woodfin to revitalize Birmingham communities through affordable homeownership.

17: Comedian Roy Wood Jr., through the Developmental Urban Baseball School (DUBS), partners with Meta + WIN Reality to provide Meta Quest 2 virtual reality (VR) headsets to Ramsay High School’s baseball and softball teams.

17: Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson awards Brenda Phillips-Hong, founder of Brenda’s Brown Bosom Buddies, a $10,000 grant in honor of Women’s History Month to help three local breast cancer organizations provide free mammograms.

18: Miles Head Basketball Coach Fred Watson is named the Jerry Johnson Division II Coach of the Year by HBCU All-Stars, LLC. The Golden Bears had gone 24-5 during the previous season and earned a berth in the NCAA Division II South Region tournament.

18: Superintendents from Birmingham, Bessemer and Fairfield’s school districts, which together educate about 28,000 students, announce that face coverings would be optionalstarting April 4.

18: Birmingham honors the Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth, the city’s most prominent Civil Rights leader. Mayor Randall Woodfin, surrounded by city school students, local clergy and residents inside the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI), issues a proclamation declaring for the first time March 18 Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth Day, the 100th anniversary of the leader’s birth.

22: Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin pardons all minor traffic tickets before 2011. It’s part of an initiative the city has named “Stop and Go”, which stands for “Suspend Traffic Obligations Permanently and Grant Opportunities.” The fees associated with those 756,531 citations amount to approximately $35 million, according to the city.

23: In the celebration of Women’s History Month, V.I.R.T.U.E. Inc., a community-based nonprofit empowering women in leadership, announces its cohort of 2022 TrailblazHers.

23: When a “disproportionate” number of Birmingham police officers called in sick for work, Mayor Woodfin and multiple City Councilors promised raises to officers, 20 of whom come to a Council meeting to speak about higher pay.

25: Mayor Woodfin announces that he would recommend an immediate 5% pay raise for city employees and another 5% in merit raises for the fiscal year which begins July 1.

27: Actress Ariana DeBose makes history as the first Afro Latina and openly queer actor of color to take home an Oscar with her win for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in “West Side Story.” In her acceptance speech, DeBose says “dreams do come true.”

28: Mayor Woodfin, along with the Birmingham City Council, approves an incentive agreement that makes way for a new grocery store on the west side of Birmingham. It is announced that Food Giant will be returning to Birmingham and will be located at 2220 Bessemer Road.

28: A city council committee of the whole is told by city leaders that a $53 million surplus has been found in the FY 2020-2021 budget and that more than $11.6 million of it will be used to give city workers a 5 percent pay raise.

29: President Joe Biden signs the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, making lynching a federal hate crime.

29: To mark 100 days to go before The World Games 2022 begin, officials from the Games and Airbus announce they are partnering with Team Red, White & Blue for “The Team RWB Old Glory Relay to The World Games 2022. The announcement is made during the Birmingham City Council’s weekly meeting.

29: The city announces that Mayor Woodfin, along with the Birmingham City Council, has approved an ordinance to support the growth and retention of Birmingham-based businesses. RISE, which stands for Retention Incentives for Success and Expansion, establishes two funds with a purpose to provide resources for area businesses.

31: The Talladega College Board of Trustees announces Dr. Gregory J. Vincent as the 21st president of Talladega College, succeeding Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, who announced his retirement June 1, 2021.

Miles College President Bobbie Knight (center) on Thursday hosted leaders from The World Games 2022, Microsoft and Alabama’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Historically Black Community Colleges (HBCC). (Haley Wilson, The Birmingham Times)

31: Leaders from The World Games 2022, Microsoft, and Alabama’s Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) and Historically Black Community Colleges (HBCC) gather at Miles College to announce The World Games 2022 HBCU Experience presented by Microsoft.

31: The Birmingham Urban League honors Birmingham’s women leadership at the 2nd annual 2022 Empower Her Awards Show.

31: Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin issues a call for gender-neutral signage on all restrooms. In a Tweet, he writes, “Today, I signed an order requiring all single-stall restrooms on city property to have gender-neutral signage. I strongly encourage private businesses within our city to follow this example and push back against discriminatory measures at the state level.”

April

1: Program Director Elijah Davis announces today is his last day at Urban Impact, a community and economic development agency that advances revitalization of the Historic 4th Avenue Business District and the Civil Rights District in downtown Birmingham.

6: Abdul K. Kallon, a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama announces is resignation, effective Aug. 31, 2022. He joined the court in 2010 after a nomination from President Barack Obama.

7: The Senate confirms President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson in a historic vote that paves the way for her to become the first Black woman to serve on the highest court in the nation. The chamber immediately erupts into cheers.

11: In a sign of regional cooperation among area leaders, the University of Alabama at Birmingham breaks ground for the new Altec/Styslinger Genomic Medicine and Data Sciences Building and the Marnix E. Heersink Institute for Biomedical Innovation Conference Center.

12: The Jefferson County Department of Health announces that local nonprofit Offender Alumni Association (OAA) will start and lead the department’s hospital-linked violence intervention program (HVIP).

12: Birmingham leaders kick off spring football in the city by declaring Saturday, April 16 as USFL Day.

Wilbur Jackson, left and John Mitchell pull the drapes at the John Mitchell and Wilbur Jackson Commemorative Plaque Unveiling before Alabama’s A-Day NCAA college football scrimmage, Saturday, April 16, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

16: The University of Alabama unveils a plaque honoring Wilbur Jackson and John Mitchell, the school’s first Black players for the Crimson Tide football team, in a ceremony before the current team’s end-of-spring A-Day game, more than 50 years after they broke the color barrier.

19: Masks on all Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority/MAX modes of transportation are made optional, the agency announces.

19: Birmingham City Council approves a new district map, despite opposition from two councilors. The new map is passed 7-2, with Councilors Valerie Abbott, District 3, and Darrell O’Quinn, District 5, voting no. Every ten years, using U.S. Census data, municipalities across the country must redraw voting lines. The map presented at the public hearing is the result of a process that began in January.

22: Hundreds of students from several elementary and middle schools gather on a bright and warm morning under the shade of a bridge in downtown Birmingham at the Imagination Festival, which kicks off this year’s Magic City Art Connection at Sloss Furnaces. Along with the 18 classes from seven city schools were teaching artists who hold several workshops that included watercolors, portraits, sculptures, mural art and poetry.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson (to his right), accompanied by other officials and supporters of the Freshwater Land Trust, cut the ribbon on the new Hugh Kaul Trail. (Cayenne Creative)

22: Advocates for expanding Alabama’s walking and biking trails celebrate Earth Day by stepping out on the newest section of a growing trail network in Birmingham and turning earth for the next segment.

26: U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell says the Housing Authority of Birmingham District (HABD) and the Bessemer Housing Authority will receive $1.5 million each in grants from the Department of Labor (DOL) for job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth.

27: Kylan Benson, who graduated from Ramsay IB High School with a 4.5 GPA, a 31 on the ACT and an exhaustive list of academic and civic honors, after amassing more than $3 million in scholarships, announces his plans to attend Harvard University.

29: Bradley law firm and Legal Services Alabama (LSA) begins providing free legal services to Black business and nonprofit owners in Birmingham. The firm recognizes “the historic and systemic racial inequities that have made it challenging for the Black business community to thrive in Birmingham,” says Bradley Birmingham Office Managing Partner Dawn Helms Sharff.

May

2: Princeton Baptist Medical Center holds a Centennial Celebration to commemorate 100 years of serving the Birmingham area as well as communities across central Alabama. The hospital is the first of four Birmingham area Baptist hospitals and opened its doors in the West End community on Jan. 20, 1922.

2: The Music of The World Games announces the addition of global superstar and Tuskegee, AL native Lionel Richie to headline The World Games 2022 Closing Ceremony presented by Coca Cola. The performance marks Richie’s first performance in his home state in over two decades.

3: Birmingham announces secure perimeters and road closures that will be implemented during The World Games 2022.

4: A mural commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Riders is unveiled outside a downtown Birmingham Wells Fargo location which stands on the former site of a train station where riders were attacked by a violent mob in 1961.

4: The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Board of Directors announces that DeJuana Thompson will serve as president and CEO of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute without the “interim” designation.

5: The Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) announces in a release that visitors spent an estimated $2.2 billion in Jefferson County (AL) in 2021, a 45 percent increase over the previous year’s spending totals, according to a study commissioned by the CVB.

The World Games 2022 Chairman Jonathan Porter and Kathy Boswell, TWG’s vice president of community engagement, hold a certificate Porter received from Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley. (Ryan Michaels, For The Birmingham Times)

5: Abrams Elementary School in Bessemer recognizes native son Jonathan Porter, who serves as TWG 2022 Chairman of the Board.

5: Reggie White, a math and science teacher at Booker T. Washington K-8 School in Titusville, is named the Alabama Teacher of the Year for 2022-23. White was selected from a field of 150 highly skilled educators from across Alabama.

7: Orchestra Noir, an Atlanta, Georgia-based African American ensemble, makes its Birmingham debut with “The Best of Hip-Hop and R&B” concert at the Lyric Theatre.

8: The University of Alabama presents Civil Rights pioneer and attorney Fred David Gray with an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree during the School of Law commencement ceremony.

13: Saying gun violence has taken almost as many lives from Birmingham City Schools as the COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Mark Sullivan declares the loss of student lives a “pandemic.” [BCS has] lost eight employees to COVID-19. Since January—just a few months ago—we’ve lost seven students to gun violence,” Sullivan says.

14: Haley Schlitz becomes the youngest Black student to graduate from law school in the U.S. Schlitz walks across the stage to get her diploma – making history as the youngest graduate from Southern Methodist University Law School in Dallas.

14: Birmingham-area residents and several local agencies and organizations gather in Linn Park to publicly discuss an issue often unmentioned in the Black community – mental health.

Edriuna, left, and Daphne Davis graduated this month from the Birmingham School of Law. (PROVIDED PHOTO)

15: Mother-daughter duo Daphne (mother) and Edriuna Davis are among the nearly 85 graduates being awarded their Juris Doctorate degrees from the Birmingham School of Law. Daphne, 52, and Edriuna, 26, are believed to be the first mother-daughter duo to graduate at the same time from the Birmingham School of Law.

16: In a release, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell shares information about more than $3.6 million in National Park Service grants which are flowing into Alabama to help preserve important civil rights sites and create new exhibits and programming connected to Black history in the state.

17: Area leaders break ground on a new $84 million biotech facility at Southern Research’s campus in Birmingham that is expected to create 150 new jobs and double the institution’s annual economic impact to $300 million a year.

19: The University of Alabama at Birmingham announces that alumnus Shegun Otulana and his wife Mary have given $1 million to create the Shegun and Mary Otulana Endowed Scholarship.

Renee Greene’s artwork captured first place in The World Games 2022 Diversity Equity and Inclusion category. (Ryan Michaels, The Birmingham Times)

20: Ramsay High School’s Renee Greene captures first-place in The World Games 2022 art design competition which drew 175 submissions from around the state.

23: Officials from The World Games 2022 (TWG 2022), the City of Birmingham and the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) announce a transportation plan called “Ride the Line” that will shuttle spectators to and from TWG 2022 events.

24: Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau show that Birmingham city lost more than 1 percent of its population between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021, which was a large enough loss to push Birmingham down the list of Alabama’s largest cities for the second time in two years. Birmingham’s population fell below 200,000 for the first time in 100 years, and it now stands at number three statewide, behind Huntsville and now Montgomery.

24: Incumbent Mark Pettway, who made history four years ago when he was elected Jefferson County’s first Black sheriff, wins the 2022 Democratic primary for the office against challengers Felicia Rucker-Sumerlin, a former sheriff’s office deputy;; Kareem Easley, a Birmingham Police Department (BPD) Sergeant and Wilson Hale, Alabama State Trooper and former U.S. Army First Sergeant.

Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson greets supporters after declaring victory in her Tuesday primary election. (Solomon Crenshaw Jr. /birminghamwatch.org)

24: A jubilant Sheila Tyson celebrates with supporters after she wins a second term representing District 2 on the Jefferson County Commission.

24: Birmingham City Council votes to invest $1.65 million in a joint plan with Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) to fix interstate lighting throughout the city.

26: A tiny home, designed and constructed by students at Birmingham’s Huffman High School, is moved off the school’s campus, beginning its journey to a family in North Carolina.

27: It is announced that Alabama Power has formed an alliance with the Magic City Bar Association (MCBA) that would diversify the attorney pool that provides legal services for the company while also creating opportunities for internships, continuing legal education credits and social gatherings and networking.

June

1: The Vilcek Foundation and The Arnold P. Gold Foundation select Mona Fouad, M.D., to receive the 2022 Vilcek-Gold Award for Humanism in Healthcare. The award is given to outstanding immigrant health care professionals in the United States and honors the positive impact that accessible, humanistic and compassionate care has on public health. Fouad receives the award for her leadership in health disparities research, and for her career-long commitment to equity in health care.

Scott Thurmond, left, outside Birmingham City Hall after being named permanent Birmingham Police Chief. To his left is Cedric Sparks, chief of staff for Mayor Randall Woodfin. (Ryan Michaels, The Birmingham Times)

2: Having proven himself as interim Chief of the Birmingham Police Department (BPD), Scott Thurmond is appointed chief permanently, Mayor Woodfin says.

6: In the first of two budget hearings at City Hall, dozens of residents give city councilors an earful about Mayor Woodfin’s $517 million proposed budget for fiscal 2023, which begins July 1. Residents want more money for flood prevention, libraries, street resurfacing and neighborhood revitalization, adding that their cars are being destroyed by potholes, lights are out in some parking lots, and they want money for the food deserts in northern parts of the city.

7: It is announced that, for the first time since before the start of the pandemic, the Alabama NAACP will hold an in-person state conference convention, to take place Oct. 6-9 at the Westin Birmingham.

10: More than a dozen Birmingham high school students meet with local leaders at the first of a two-day leadership event hosted by Protective Life and The World Games 2022. The event begins with a panel that includes Scott Adams, Protective’s executive vice president of corporate responsibility; Nick Sellers, TWG 2022 CEO and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.

11: Dr. Adolphus Jackson of Birmingham is elected President of the Alabama Dental Association by his colleagues. Jackson will be the first African American to serve as president of the state Association. He served as President-Elect in 2021 and Vice President in 2020.

14: The Birmingham City Council votes unanimously to partner with 15 different cities, plus law enforcement agencies across the state to provide an unprecedented level of security for The World Games 2022.

From left: Judges Carol Smitherman and Ruby Davis; BCRI President DeJuana Thompson and Dr. Lori Croom Bush. (Nicole S. Daniel, The Birmingham Times).

16: Nearly 200 women from Birmingham and surrounding areas gather at B&A Warehouse downtown for the Inaugural Juneteenth Empowerment Luncheon hosted by Jefferson County District Judge Ruby Davis.

21: Yolanda Flowers claims victory in Alabama’s Democratic runoff election for governor against Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier of Selma.

23: A new incentive, created through the partnership between the Birmingham Business Resource Center (BBRC) and Mastercard, to spend at Black-owned businesses during The World Games (TWG2022) is announced at Kelly Ingram Park.

23: Announcement made that no one would be sleeping in any of the prototype structures that were built as part of a city-funded, community-led effort to provide temporary housing and services for homeless residents of Birmingham during The World Games (TWG) 2022.

From left: Debra Blaylock, executive liaison/community at Faith Chapel; Bruce Lanier, architect, Alabama Center for Architecture; Kelly Greene, executive director, Food For Our Journey; Kay Simmons, founder, God’s Loving Hands Ministries and Michelle Farley, executive director, One Roof. (Ryan Michaels, The Birmingham Times)

24: The Supreme Court strips away women’s constitutional protections for abortion, a fundamental and deeply personal change for Americans’ lives after nearly a half-century under Roe v. Wade. The court’s overturning of the landmark court ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

25-26: Hundreds gather at Birmingham’s Linn and Kelly Ingram Parks over the weekend to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, stripping women across the country of the federal guarantee to abortion as a right.

26: The Birmingham Times Media Group (BTMG) wins nine awards in the 2022 Alabama Press Association (APA) Media Contest, including first place for Best In-Depth News Coverage; Best Feature Story Coverage and Best Photo Essay. The APA presents the awards during its summer convention in Orange Beach. The Illinois Press Association membership judged more than 1800 entries in the contest. Also, the Times wins five National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Awards including first place for Health coverage and Black History Month Special Edition. The NNPA presents the awards during its summer convention in New Orleans.

In the two contests, the Times wins seven first place awards and recognition in nearly every category that included news, health, features, business, photos, sports, layout and design and Special Section.

27: UAB’s Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, an internationally recognized pancreatic cancer surgeon and researcher, a pioneer in cancer health disparities research, and an academic medical leader, is named to serve as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s (MSK) next President and Chief Executive Officer. Vickers will succeed Craig B. Thompson, MD, who announced his intention to step down earlier this year in September.

27: Birmingham City Councilor Darrell O’Quinn says at a transportation committee meeting that the Birmingham Xpress bus rapid transit (BRT) system, which will serve an east-west corridor across the city, will not be complete by the start of The World Games.

28: JPMorgan Chase & Co. hosts a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its first full-service banking center in Birmingham. Approximately 20 city officials, bank representatives, and customers tour the location at 425 20th St. South downtown.

29: With less than 10 days remaining before the start of The World Games (TWG) 2022, Mayor l Woodfin fires back at critics who said the city was planning to displace homeless residents during the Games which were held from July 7 to 17. “To make myself very clear, and to clarify all this misinformation that has been put out there—the city of Birmingham, the World Games, Birmingham Police Department, or anyone else is [not] displacing or forcing or evicting or putting anyone out of any public spaces in our community,” Woodfin says during a City Council meeting, “. . . that is just simply not true.”

30: Speaking in Birmingham, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announces a $1 billion plan aimed at reconnecting communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure.

30: Mayor Woodfin, city leaders and other dignitaries, including U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, cut the ribbon at the historic A.G. Gaston Motel on 5th Avenue North where substantial completion of a three-year restoration has been completed.

30: The University of Alabama at Birmingham announces that Daryl Green, Ph.D. will be the new associate vice president of Public Safety and chief of UAB Police following a national search. Green begins his new role Aug. 1, following the retirement of Chief Anthony Purcell, who has served as the UAB Police chief for the last 15 years.

July

3: The Birmingham Stallions defeat the Philadelphia Stars 33-30 in Canton, Ohio to capture 2022 USFL Championship in the League’s inaugural year.

5: Two days before the start of The World Games (TWG) 2022, city and transit leaders showcase the “Ride the Line” bus system that is reliable, free and fun. It was the system they say residents, spectators and visitors should use to get to and from events with ease.

6: Bessemer absentee voting clerk Karen Dunn Burks alleges “potential voter suppression tactic in the Bessemer division.” County officials immediately dismiss the accusations.

7: Just hours before The World Games (TWG) 2022 opening ceremony at Protective Stadium, the Birmingham City Council holds an emergency meeting to give Mayor Randall Woodfin spending powers for the length of the Games.

7: The World Games 2022 (TWG 2022) kicks off in Birmingham’s Protective Stadium, featuring more than 3,600 athletes who will participate in dozens of events including sumo wrestling, gymnastics, martial arts and tug of war. The opening ceremonies begin 10 days of competition around the metro area in nearly 40 sports with participants from about 100 nations.

7: The Las Vegas Raiders introduce former Nevada Gaming Control Board chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan to be team president, making her the first Black woman in NFL history to hold that role.

7: Brendia L. Goldsmith, a longtime resident of Birmingham’s Norwood neighborhood and career civil servant, dies at Princeton Baptist Medical Center. She is 76. Born in Herring, North Carolina, Mrs. Goldsmith went on to graduate from the Highland Falls, New York school system and received formal training at the United States Military Academy at West Point before moving to Birmingham, where she would later retire from the city’s Social Security Administration office.

9: With dozens of The World Games 2022 events in and around the Birmingham metro area, the Civil Rights District Marketplace opens its first day in the historic Kelly Ingram Park.

12: After accusations in the previous week of voter suppression from the Bessemer Absentee Voting Clerk, the Jefferson County Commission says it will find a new location for absentee voting.

12: The Cushman & Wakefield Sunbelt Multifamily Advisory Group announces it has the exclusive listing of The Pizitz, a 143-unit luxury apartment community with 41,679 SF of ground floor, mezzanine, and lower-level commercial space. In 2023, The Pizitz will turn 100 years old. Built in 1923, the building was once the flagship department store for the Alabama-based, family-owned department store chain Pizitz.

14: Officials from four Middle East countries who are in Birmingham for the World Games gather to dedicate a site to plant a “Peace Tree” in Marconi Park.

Representatives of Israel, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Morocco attend the event, along with city, World Games and Olympic officials.

“The tree will be planted and cared for by the Jones Teaching Farm, one of our beloved nonprofits who works closely with Birmingham City Schools,’’ Mayor Woodfin says. “Rest assured that the spirt of unity represented in this event will be passed on to our youngest, as well.’’

17: Members of Temple Beth-El, a synagogue in Birmingham’s Southside community, dedicate a historical marker outside the building, on the spot where a bombing was attempted in 1958. The marker is part of a larger effort from leadership and members of the synagogue, called the Beth-El Civil Rights Experience, to research the Civil Rights Movement.

17: The World Games 2022 (TWG 2022) comes to a rousing close in Birmingham’s Protective Stadium after 10 days of competition that featured more than 3,600 athletes from about 75 nations. Mayor Woodfin points to the “incredible feats of skill and athleticism,” as well as other highlights from the Games, including “world-class artists and entertainers” and “incredible meals.”

22: During an armchair conversation with Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Vice President Kamala Harris says the country is in a state of mourning, given increasing rates of gun violence and atrocities like the shooting in Buffalo, New York which killed 10 Black people in May.

26: With the first day of school set to begin Aug. 8, the Birmingham Board of Education approves an agreement to increase the availability of behavioral health services for students and their families.

27: A roundtable discussion that includes Wendy Chun-Hoon, director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, Mayor Woodfin, local officials and others on ways to reduce caregiving costs for women to ensure their ability to participate fully in the workforce is held at the YMCA of Birmingham downtown.

27: Robert Cheeks, who was originally sentenced to die in prison under Alabama’s Habitual Felony Offender Act for a 1985 robbery conviction, is released on time served after being represented by Alabama Appleseed, a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization working exclusively on justice system reform in Alabama, according to an announcement from the organization.

29: U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell votes for legislation to keep weapons of war off the streets and protect Alabama communities from the scourge of gun violence. The Assault Weapons Ban Act of 2022 would reinstate the assault weapons ban, prohibiting the sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of semiautomatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The bill passes the House of Representatives by a vote of 217-213.

August

2: With Birmingham’s homicide rate up nearly 22 percent, due in part to 13 people killed in the first 26 days of July, up from eight last year, Mayor Randall Woodfin calls on gun manufacturers, among others, to “get smart” in finding ways to help curb gun violence, not just locally but nationally. Six of the July slayings in Birmingham happened over a four-day span near the end of the month.

2: Alabama poet laureate Ashley Jones is awarded $50,000 to support her public poetry projects. Jones will use the funds to help implement a project called the Alabama Poetry Delegation, a multi-regional leadership and service initiative which “seeks to engage and support poetry projects and poets across the state,” according to a description in the release.

7: In a strongly worded statement, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin says “exhibition driving” is out of control in the city and must be ended. The mayor makes his comments after 19-year-old Ja’Kia Winston of Birmingham was killed and four others transported to local hospitals after shots were exchanged in a parking lot in downtown Birmingham over the weekend.

9: 23-time tennis Grand Slam champion Serena Williams announces her impending retirement. Williams, one of the greatest and most accomplished athletes in the history of her — or any other — sport, writes in an essay that she does not like the word “retirement” and prefers to think of this stage of her life as “evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”

9: Birmingham Police Chief Scott Thurmond and Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr join Mayor Woodfin to address incidents of exhibition driving, which have been involved in two deaths of teenagers in the city in less than a month. Birmingham Police Department (BPD) is “working hard to combat” exhibition driving but that “it’s hard to be everywhere at once,” Thurmond says.

12: After four homicides in under four hours, Mayor Woodfin quickly releases a statement about the “senseless violence” and again calls on residents to do more to promote public safety.

15: The World Games 2022 (TWG2022) held in Birmingham in July is facing a $14 million deficit, and plans are underway to close the gap “as quickly as possible,” says Nick Sellers, CEO of TWG2022.

17: Representatives of the Birmingham Board of Education, Birmingham City Council and Bertram A. Hudson K-8 cut the ribbon on a new science lab, completed through a partnership with Verizon and education nonprofit Heart of America, which will give Hudson students access to educational technology, including augmented and virtual reality hardware, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and coding.

21: Slutty Vegan, the popular plant-based Atlanta eatery known for some unforgettable names holds its grand opening from noon to 6 p.m. at 77 55th Pl., Birmingham, AL 35212 in Woodlawn.

23: One month after the conclusion of The World Games 2022 and one week after revelations of a $14 million shortfall for the Games, the Birmingham City Council votes 7-2 to pay $5 million to help reduce the shortfall, but only after councilors share concerns in a debate on the matter that lasted more than three hours.

Councilors Valerie Abbott and Carol Clarke vote no.

22: The Alabama Aerospace & Aviation High School’s, the first school of its kind in Alabama, (AAHS) inaugural year begins at its temporary location in Bessemer.

26: Officials from the Birmingham area join corporate and community leaders to celebrate the latest extension of the Red Rock Trail System. The nonprofit behind the project is peering ahead to the next phases of a decades-long endeavor to create a 750-mile network of trails, bike lanes and sidewalks connecting all corners of Jefferson County.

29: After hearing the story of one Birmingham resident’s exorbitant water bill and ongoing complaints from many other residents, Mayor Woodfin calls on the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) “to get out of the way” of the body’s general manager, Michael Johnson.

30: After unveiling a table filled with an AR-15, an AKM, an SKS and an AK-47 pistol variant commonly referred to as a Mini Draco, Mayor Woodfin appeals to state and federal officials to ban assault weapons as gun violence continues to plague the nation including the City of Birmingham.

30: Three years after the passage of a state law requiring that third grade students read on grade level or risk being held back, local leaders hold a town hall to tout literacy improvements in early education for Birmingham City Schools (BCS) students and urge parents and others to get involved.

31: AL.com and The Birmingham Times Media Group announce a collaborative series of reports with a focus on contributing factors that may have fueled the high rate of homicides in 2022 and magnifying the voices of those who are affected by violence or working in areas to reduce some of the crime.

September

4: After five people were killed at the start of the Labor Day weekend in Birmingham, Mayor Randall L. Woodfin calls out gangs and asks its members to declare a “truce” to save lives.

7: BCS Superintendent Mark Sullivan, Ed. D., announces that the percentage of students in the school system who scored at or above grade level in both math and English/language arts (ELA) has improved and that the percentage of students who scored at the lower levels of proficiency decreased in both areas.

9: U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell is joined by Mayor Woodfin, Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson, residents and state and local leaders to announce $3 million in federal funding for the North Birmingham Community Development Rehabilitation Project.

13: The Birmingham Board of Education approves its budget for Fiscal Year 2023, including pay increases for all employees and an established $15 minimum hourly pay rate.

13: Lisa McNair, whose sister was one of four little girls killed on Sept. 15, 1963 in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, publishes a book “Dear Denise: Letters to the Sister I Never Knew.”

13: For her outstanding service, especially among the Latino community, Carmen Capó-Lugo, Ph.D., now an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, receives the 2022 Odessa Woolfolk Community Service Award during UAB’s New Faculty and Faculty Recognition Reception.

14: Frank E. Adams Jr. is named deputy director of the Negro Southern League Museum. He will serve alongside the museum’s director, Alicia Johnson-Williams, in creating a vision for the world-class facility.

15: Birmingham commemorates the 59th year since the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on Sept. 15, 1963 that killed four girls with a memorial service and a renovated church parsonage which honors Black civic leaders of the 1880s to 1920s.

16: Omari Grandberry – better known as Omarion, a Grammy-award nominated singer/songwriter, performer and actor who became popular in the early 2000’s as the lead singer of R&B boy band, B2K — is in Birmingham for another one of his talents: book author.

17: Hundreds of visitors from Birmingham and surrounding areas attend the Black Girls Dream Conference, which includes the Journey Dream Village in Kelly Ingram Park. The conference features a number of sessions and panels about civics, social justice, health, and professional development.

19: The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) announces that The Cooper Green Mercy Health Services Authority has received final approval from the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System to move forward with plans to replace the current building with a state-of-the-art medical clinic.

The announcement comes during the same week that Cooper Green celebrated its 50thanniversary of operation in the city.

19: The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) announces that J. Frank Barefield Jr., president of Abbey Residential and chairman of Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama, has given a $10 million gift to the school, committing $5 million to name the UAB J. Frank Barefield Jr. Department of Criminal Justice in the College of Arts and Sciences and $5 million to name the UAB J. Frank Barefield Jr. Entrepreneurship Program in the Collat School of Business.

21: To better serve its five-county service area, the Birmingham Water Works redesigns its bill to provide customers with a better understanding of their water and sewage charges.

22: Birmingham Xpress (BX), the city’s new rapid bus transit system which operates in about a 10-mile corridor, from the Birmingham CrossPlex in the west, to a transit center in Woodlawn in the east, begins operation.

24: More than 800 elementary, middle and high school students from the Birmingham area witness the storied life of Civil Rights titan and retired U.S. District Judge Uriah W. Clemon, through the first reads of a new Red Mountain Theatre production, “The Calling: The Story of Judge U.W. Clemon.”

27: Birmingham City Council approves $1 million for a financial literacy initiative for six Birmingham City Schools to receive in-person instruction on monetary topics. The initiative, the BHM Financial Freedom Project, is a partnership between the city, IMC Financial Consulting and Goalsetter, an app that students would use as part of the program.

28: The Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) officially accepts the resignation of former board chairman Christopher Rice.

October

3: Alabama poet laureate Ashley M. Jones announces a new initiative with the Alabama Writers’ Forum, which will help poets in Alabama share their work around the state. The new initiative, called the Alabama Poetry Delegation (APD), is a statewide service project supported by the Academy of American Poets and the Mellon Foundation, in partnership with the Alabama Writers’ Forum.

4: The Birmingham City Council passes an ordinance that paves the way for the operation of medical cannabis dispensaries. The ordinance passes in a 7-0 vote, with Councilor Hunter Williams abstaining and Councilor Valerie Abbott absent.

9-10: Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin joins a global gathering of mayors, urban innovators, business leaders, and artists to address solutions to pressing urban challenges, including pandemic recovery, migration, global conflict, and extreme heat. The summit in Amsterdam is put together by Bloomberg CityLab, the global cities summit organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the Aspen Institute.

William Barnes, president and CEO of the Birmingham Urban League, speaks to sophomores at George Washington Carver High School. (Ryan Michaels, The Birmingham Times)

12: The Birmingham Urban League (BUL) kicks off its 100 Days of Non-Violence tour of Birmingham City Schools. Through the tour, BUL will visit each of Birmingham’s seven public high schools through Nov. 10 to speak with and listen to students about gun violence.

16: Margaret Burnham, co-founder of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, is at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church to discuss her new book “By Hands Now Known: Jim Crow’s Legal Executioners.”

19: A proposed $50 million amphitheater in North Birmingham that would anchor The Star at Uptown, a $300-million mixed-use development on the site of the former Carraway Hospital campus draws a number of questions from Jefferson County Commissioners. Concerns range from transparency over the project, the amount of funding from the county and traffic.

18: Birmingham City Council approves an incentive agreement with Kratos Defense and Security Solutions that will bring 76 new jobs and consider students at area Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for employment.

21: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey appoints Alisha Ruffin May to replace a domestic relations court judge ousted from the Jefferson County bench last year. The governor appoints Ruffin May to serve as circuit judge, domestic relations division, Place 20. The appointment is effective immediately.

24: U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell presents a $13.6 million check to the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) that will go toward a new maintenance facility and electric buses. The funding comes out of a possible $400 million in federal money heading to Alabama from the $1 trillion infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden last year.

From left: Chair of the BJCTA Board of Directors Theodore Smith; U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell; BJCTA board member Roderick Evans and BJCTA Executive Director/CEO Charlotte Shaw. (Ryan Michaels, The Birmingham Times)

24: The board of the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau approves allowing a portion of the lodging taxes collected from the BJCC’s Sheraton and Westin hotels to help pay the debt for a $50 million, 8,500-seat amphitheater that would be located on the site of the former Carraway hospital complex.

25: Birmingham made its largest investment ever in early childhood education, say city officials, with a $1 million investment in an initiative that will provide curriculum, innovative technology and personalized coaching to help build language skills in pre-school aged children. Birmingham Talks, open to any resident with a child under 5, improves kindergarten readiness by increasing interactive conversation between children and their caregivers through the use of a small digital device that counts the number of words children hear each day.

28: Mayor Woodfin presents Civil Rights leader, veteran radio broadcaster and advertising executive Dr. Shelley Stewart with the “Putting People First” award, one of the city’s top honors.

Alabama State wide receiver Darius Edmonds (15) fights for yardage late against Alabama A&M during the Magic City Classic at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., on Saturday October 29, 2022. (Mickey Welsh / Advertiser)

29: Dematrius Davis finds Jeremiah Hixon with a 23-yard touchdown pass with two minutes left in the game to earn Alabama State a come-from-behind, 24-17 win over Alabama A&M in the 81st Magic City Classic Saturday, claiming HBCU bragging rights in the state for the first time since 2017.

November

1: Mayor Woodfin announces that plans are in the works for a new city-owned family fun center with a skating rink, jump park, e-sports center, bowling alley and food court at the CrossPlex property in West Birmingham. The target date to open is set for some time in 2024.

2: Alongside state legislators from both sides of the aisle, Mayor Woodfin unveils a draft of a new Alabama House of Representatives bill that would enable police to fine, jail or impound the cars of people engaging in exhibition driving.

Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway greeted by supporters Tuesday night as he enters his watch party in Birmingham’s Glen Iris neighborhood. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times)

8: Mark Pettway, who made history as the first Black sheriff elected in Jefferson County (AL) four years ago, is re-elected to another full four-year term. Pettway, a Democrat, receives 52.09 percent, or 102,440 votes, to defeat Republican challenger and newcomer Jared Hudson, who receives 47.84 percent, or 94,077, according to unofficial results.

8: The YMCA of Greater Birmingham announces that the downtown Birmingham YMCA will close at the end of the year.

The location is at 2101 Fourth Ave. North. The closure will take place on Dec. 31. The YMCA announces in a news release that it is continuing to work toward finding a new location for downtown services and programs.

8: The city of Birmingham announces that it will be receiving federal assistance to assess and improve the city’s stormwater drainage systems. The city is one of 20 in the nation — out of more than 100 applicants — to receive a technical assistance grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to birminghamwatch.com

As Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson looks on, Birmingham Resident Susan Palmer questions Water Works officials about “affordable rates.” (Ryan Michaels, The Birmingham Times)

16: Dozens of residents, some with bills showing thousands of dollars in charges, show up at the A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club, for a town hall organized by Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson to discuss Birmingham Water Works customer billing issues and a potential a 3.9% rate hike by the utility.

16: Jimmie Stephens is re-elected President of the Jefferson Commission as the five members of the panel are sworn-in at the downtown Courthouse to mark the start of the 2022-2026 term. Commissioner T. Joe Knight will serve as Pro-Tem.

16: The Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) board of directors votes to expand the service area and hours of ride-booking service Via, a low-cost transportation program already operating in the city.

18: The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) celebrates its 30th anniversary at Haven in Birmingham’s Southside with a performance by R&B singer Lalah Hathaway and remarks from former Birmingham Mayor Dr. Richard Arrington, BCRI co-founder Odessa Woolfolk, Mayor Randall Woodfin and BCRI CEO DeJuana Thompson.

21: Alabama Power President and CEO Mark Crosswhite says he intends to retire at the end of the year. He has led the company through times of innovation and strengthened labor relations, among other key accomplishments.

21: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey seeks a pause in executions and orders a “top-to-bottom” review of the state’s capital punishment system after an unprecedented third failed lethal injection.

22: The Birmingham City Council unanimously approves a conflict resolution curriculum designed specifically for young Black men in City Schools (BCS) to begin by spring semester in 2023. Mayor Randall Woodfin says the program is another way the city can support reducing violence in Birmingham.

28: Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend of Events, presented by Birmingham Marathon, Inc. and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI), announces its final race weekend to take place in Birmingham Feb. 10-12, 2023. The 21-year partnership with Mercedes-Benz U.S. International has attracted more than 200,000 runners, has helped local charities raise in excess of $5 million dollars and provides more than $60 million in direct economic impact for the Greater Birmingham region.

Dr. Jesse J. Lewis Sr., Birmingham Times founder and pioneering businessman. (Barnett Wright, The Birmingham Times)

29: Dr. Jesse J. Lewis Sr., Birmingham Times founder and visionary entrepreneur, is awarded 2022 Lifetime Achievement from the Vulcan Park Foundation. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin presents the award to Lewis and says it was an honor to recognize “someone I’ve looked up to for quite some time, even prior to being mayor, the person I consider the Godfather of the City of Birmingham. Tonight, we celebrate a son of our city – a Birmingham legend and simply put, living, breathing Black history.”

29: The Birmingham City Council unanimously approves an agreement to keep the Magic City Classic at Legion Field for a term of four years beginning in 2023. As part of the agreement, the city will provide $1 million worth of incentives and in-kind services annually.

29: Mamie King-Chalmers, who was blasted by a firehose in Birmingham in 1963 as she took part in civil rights protests that were captured in a famous Life magazine photograph, dies in Detroit. She was 81.

30: House Democrats usher in a new generation of leaders with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries elected to be the first Black American to head a major political party in Congress at a pivotal time as long-serving Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her team step aside next year.

30: The Business Council of Alabama (BCA) announces that Helena Duncan has been selected as the organization’s next President and CEO. Duncan becomes the first African American president of BCA, effective December 1.

December

Ramsay’s Ashton Ashford carries the ball during the AHSAA Super 7 Class 5A championship at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. (Mark Almond | preps@al.com)

1: The Ramsay High School Rams feasts in a 41-20 victory in the Class 5A Alabama High School Athletic Association Super 7 football championship. Ashton Ashford, a junior running back, finishes the night with 44 carries for 281 yards and five touchdowns to help the team from Birmingham’s Southside to its second state football championship. It won its first in 2016 after not fielding a team for 35 years.

5: Even with a number of recent academic successes in Birmingham City Schools (BCS), Superintendent Mark Sullivan, Ed.D says his team is “not sitting back…[but] standing up and facing the challenges, slowly but surely [and] overcoming them.” The celebratory event comes on the heels of the release of the Alabama State Department of Education’s (ALSDE) annual report card of individual school systems where BCS received a 73, or a C, up two points from the pre-pandemic 71 for the 2018-2019 school year.

6: The City of Birmingham is considering the future of its municipal jail and no timetable has been set when and if inmates would be transferred to the Jefferson County Jail, city officials say. Meanwhile, Sheriff Mark Pettway, who oversees the county jail, says he’s not aware of the plans to transfer.

6: Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeats Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a Georgia runoff election, ensuring Democrats an outright majority in the Senate for the rest of President Joe Biden’s current term and capping an underwhelming midterm cycle for the GOP in the last major vote of the year. The victory gives Warnock, the first Black senator from Georgia, a full six-year term.

6: Birmingham City Council approves a spending plan of $40,774,820 from the city’s American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds allocation. These federal funds are part of the more than $140 million the city received from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Money will be used for an affordable housing trust fund, blight removal, healthy food initiatives, grant matches, and other projects.

11: “Birmingham’s Dynamite Hill,” a book put together by daughter of Birmingham civil rights attorney Arthur Shores Barbara Shores and Birmingham Historical Society Program Director Marjorie White was unveiled at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 600 Center St. North in Birmingham’s Graymont neighborhood.

12: Birmingham police Chief Scott Thurmond announces a $5,000 hiring bonus for new and lateral entry police officers. “As our nation, state and city work to combat the shortage of law enforcement officers, the city of Birmingham and the Birmingham Police Department will utilize this hiring bonus to attract new officers,’’ Thurmond says.

13: The City of Birmingham awards more than $850,000 to eight area organizations to fund innovative ways to help improve Birmingham’s economic landscape. The BOLD program, which stands for Building Opportunities for Lasting Development, provides financial support to organizations and agencies that are taking creative, evidence-based approaches to solving various community issues.

15: A documentary on Birmingham’s history through the perspective of Civil Rights legend Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth premieres at the recently-renovated Carver Theatre. The film, “Shuttlesworth,” features interviews with current leadership from the formerly Shuttlesworth-led Bethel Baptist Church in Collegeville and foot soldiers like Rev. Carter Gaston who, before leading Bethel himself, served as a bodyguard for Shuttlesworth. 2022 marks the 100th year since Shuttlesworth’s birth.

19: The Jefferson County legislative delegation meets with Birmingham-Southern College President Daniel Coleman to discuss the potential of giving $30 million in state funds to the school, which is in danger of closing unless a fundraising goal of $200 million is met.

22: A deadly shooting in Birmingham’s west side marks a grim milestone for the city.

Police are called at 9:04 p.m. to a house in the 2200 block of Beulah Avenue after receiving a 911 call that an adult male was involved in a verbal altercation with family members at the home.The shooting marks the city’s 142nd homicide, making 2022 the deadliest year in Birmingham in decades. The highest number of homicides recorded in recent memory was 141 in 1991.

23: Temperatures between 4- and 14-degrees grip the city as an Arctic Front arrives, with wind chills as low as minus 15 degrees, the coldest temps in decades. Some places will be below freezing for more than 72 consecutive hours. The low early Christmas morning will be in the teens for most communities, with single digits again for colder spots.