In 1995, FCE began with four areas of focus:

  • community building—capacity building as well as home building
  • faith-based efforts, especially targeted to after-school curriculum for school-aged children
  • education, which in recent years worked with the Dallas ISD to create a curriculum called Dallas Achieves, designed to substantially increase graduation rates
  • research, to create accountability in the foundation’s commitment to help create a whole city

Over the years, some initiatives have received greater emphasis and others less, depending on the needs at the time. Several were eventually re-created as new foundations or were given to other organizations for their care and stewardship.

For example, much of the community and capacity-building now functions as key aims of a sister foundation, Frazier Revitalization. The research arm was passed on to the University of Texas at Dallas as the Institute for Urban Policy Research.


The Foundation for Community Empowerment is attempting to organize and advocate for the revitalization of the neighborhood near Fair Park. And for many years, FCE has advocated for the revitalization of the South Dallas/Fair Park community through the revitalization of Fair Park itself. Fair Park is an economic engine that has the power to drive growth and change throughout it surrounding neighborhoods.

Free Minds is based on the assumption that rigorous engagement with the humanities—such as literature, philosophy, art, history, and critical thinking—can change people’s lives.

Hundreds of educationally and economically disadvantaged individuals across the country have experienced unexpected freedom, empowerment, and opportunity by participating in the Clemente Course in the Humanities.

The Frazier neighborhood is part of the South Dallas/Fair Park community that includes approximately 24,000 residents, adjacent to Downtown Dallas and South of I-30. This once proud, middle-class community of over 70,000 mixed-income residents had steadily declined, until about 10 years ago, with high unemployment, a concentration of liquor establishments, and a dilapidated housing stock and absentee slum lords and high crime rates. All of these conditions have begun to change with numerous revitalization initiatives underway, including the Cedars, ICDC/Spring Street, Jubilee, South Fair, Bonton, Bexar Street, St. Phillip’s, Forrest Heights and Frazier.