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Healing ceremony: new beginning for West Louisville with sports and learning complex

A healing ceremony was held before breaking ground to acknowledge the community's challenging past and hopeful future.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A long-awaited project in west Louisville is being considered a turning point for the community. The Louisville Urban League is one step closer to breaking ground on its Sports and Learning complex. Before breaking ground, dozens of community members gathered Tuesday for a healing ceremony. 

"We're trying to clean up this place," president and CEO of Louisville Urban League, Sadiqa Reynolds said. “With kids cutting through, with families living across the street -- today is a new day and we are going to get this done."

The ceremony was held on the 24 acre land that sat empty for years at 30th Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

“They’re going to transform this neglected, forgotten piece of land and do something spectacular," president and CEO of National Urban League, Marc Morial said. 

Those in attendance joined hands and shared prayers for what is to come. 

"We're taking the money that is generated here and reinvesting in us," Reynolds said. "This is about us funding our dreams."

The community was hopeful a FoodPort project was going to revitalize West Louisville until the plan was canceled in 2016.

“I supported the FoodPort project I thought it was amazing and when we found out that project wasn’t going to move forward, I literally went home and prayed and just asked God, what can we do?” Reynolds said. 

Reynolds said the hope is for the facility to bring investments, housing options and jobs in west Louisville.

“We really did not want to break ground on the land before we had a ceremony to acknowledge the pain in the community and some of the damage that has been done," Reynolds said.

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Contact reporter Senait Gebregiorgis at SGebregior@whas11.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook. 

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