The mission of the Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center is to strengthen harmony among the residents of our county and its communities. To achieve this we help re-establish the long standing tradition of community as family. We foster intentional inclusiveness to create a holistic quality of life. As we serve we recognize and give glory to God.
Waynesville native Telinda “Lin” Forney has served as executive director of the Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center since 2009.
Lin first volunteered with the center in 2003 as a teacher for the inaugural summer youth program because she “just loves kids, period,” she said. “I wanted them to have something to say about their summer –something they were excited about — when they went back to school. I didn’t want them to say ‘I stayed at home and did nothing,’ but maybe ‘I went to Carowinds for the first time,’ or ‘I went to a farm and saw how vegetables grow.’ I want them to feel good about themselves.”
The Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center is located on Pigeon Street in Waynesville, N.C., in the former Pigeon Street School, which served African-American elementary school students before desegregation in Haywood County in 1967.
After the school closed, the school system used the building for Haywood County Schools Instructional Materials Center.
When its use by Haywood County School Board declined, community members began working to gain permission to use the building, and the Pigeon Community Development Club moved into the facility in early 2001.
The organization became an official nonprofit under the umbrella of REACH and worked with the Center for Participatory Change in Asheville to transition into a standalone nonprofit organization.
In 2009, to help promote their longstanding goal of inclusiveness the center became the Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center and hired its first executive director.