About Perry County
Nicknamed “The Athens of the South,” Marion is the county seat of Perry County, the former home of Samford College and the Lincoln Normal School, and the current home of Judson College and the Marion Military Institute. Perry County is the site of significant Civil Rights symbols and events, including the birthplace of Coretta Scott King and the shooting of Jimmie Lee Jackson (which catalyzed the “Selma to Montgomery” march in 1965).
Population: approx. 9,600 Unemployment: 6.6% Median Household Income: $24,537
Nearly all (99%) public school students are on Free/Reduced Lunch
About 40% of residents live below poverty line
Formed in 2009, our Perry County partnership is working to close the gap between the challenges of today and the promise of tomorrow in Alabama’s Black Belt. 57 Miles offers students and faculty at The University of Alabama opportunities to address real issues in the Black Belt through Four Areas of Involvement: community engagement, education, economic development, and healthcare. Through the partnership, students’ passions are given purpose to enact meaningful change.