Urban Avenues invites all economic, racial, and generational groups to be students of one another and collaborate in crafting an expanded perspective for the city's potential. 

Our energy comes from curious minds of all walks of life that hold tight to the passion that burns inside each of us: to be part of a meaningful community. Together, we create a collective that seeks to fill gaps within our city as we leave our own comfort zone and develop new relationships in the process. 

We are shaped by the concept of mutuality and the belief that our communities can invest in one another, care for one another, and be students of one another. Our ventures focus on different avenues of creativity to unite students and energize them to pursue diverse community because it’s a natural part of life. 

our team
John Lankford
Frances McNeal

Director of Operations


Board of Directors
Nancy Carroll

President | InSpero

Blake Davidson

Vice President | EBSCO Capital

Kathleen Grasse

VP Special Projects | Preventric

Taylor Robinson

Founder | Six Foot Five Productions

Laura Lankford

Program Director | The Parnassus Group

Gary York

CEO | Help Lightning

we believe

  • Transformational communities exist on level ground of innovation and investment

  • Advancement is a larger concept than skill — it’s about developing the heart, mind, and ambition for leading stories greater than yourself

  • Birmingham has the potential to be an inspiration to the country and the world combating the growing divides between races, political beliefs, and economic realities

  • Art and creativity are vitally important as beauty becomes a bridge to thriving communities