United Communities to Advance our Neighborhoods, (UCAN) Inc.

"YOU CAN Change the World!"


 CONGRATULATIONS to the Nuckolls family on Mr. CB Nuckolls being inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights HALL of FAME who served over 40 years as Principal of BTWS!  Proud of his family including his brother,his wife and pictured here with his granddaughter-Tonya Nuckolls Smith​, her husband-Nick, and child! :)








   Join the BTWS Mural Ribbon Cutting

And More!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 5:30p

at Ashland Depot (Transportation Center)

99 15th Street in Ashland, KY

Hosted by Ashland In Motion

Free and All are Welcome!!

 See more in the NEWS!


(Note clickable links for more information on that item are usually in purple or blue)   

Donate to the

Community Murals

(Note, Money has been raised for the BTWS Mural!  There is Still One Church and Tribute Mural to raise funds for when finish painting BTWS Mural which was a separate project!! Scroll down below.)


 by Tri-State Artist,

J E R R Y   J O H N S O N

“I like to preserve the history. I want our kids to grow up and

see this is where we come from.”  

The Murals are to be painted on the flood walls at Ashland's Riverfront, costing approximately $22,000 but will be divided into two different projects

I. BTWS Mural Project 

The first mural will be of the Booker T. Washington School (BTWS) and faculty of 1946. The Booker T. Washington School (BTWS) (1874-1962 ) was the segregated African-American ("Colored") school that existed in Ashland before mandated integration. The mural will feature full-time curriculum faculty in 1946, the principal, C. B. Nuckolls and the school building built in 1903 on Central Ave. The school initially served 1st-8th grades, then progressed to a 2-year high school and eventually a 4-year high school.


(Updated Design above-final update will be as part of artist discretion.)

Photo Below: Waymark on Central Avenue where the historic BTWS was located.


Photo Below: Booker T. Washington  (April 5, 1856-November 14, 1915)

     The school was named after Booker Taliaferro Washington, a former slave, educator, author, leader and more who founded the renowned Tuskegee Institute. He also had a major influence on southern race relations and was the dominant figure in black public affairs from 1895 until his death in 1915. He said, "I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed."  Washington encouraged wealthy benefactors and directed millions of their money to projects all across the South that Washington thought best reflected his self-help philosophy and funded many educational programs. He helped to raise nearly $2 million in a campaign to build the Tuskegee Institute that he founded! Surely if he could do that as a former slave, we can raise 1% of that now to commemorate this historic school named after such a distinguished American and even unshelve another mural project also!


BTWS Mural Chairpersons:

 Dan Mahan, History Associate Professor, Ashland Community Technical College (ACTC)

Brenda Martin, Pres. United Communities to Advance our Neighborhoods, Inc (UCAN) 

Al Baker, Cultural Diversity Director, Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC) 

We are especially grateful for DAN MAHAN and his vast leadership and passion on this endeavor!  We wish him the utmost happiness in his retirement from ACTC!

Other committee members include: Mayor Chuck Charles-, Mayor-Elect Steve Gilmore, Educators: Bernice Henry & Eliza Lee, We have also partnered with

Ashland in Motion.


 If you are interested in joining this committee, please contact one of the chairpersons. Also your input on the updated mural design is welcome until design agreed upon 9/19/16.  If you have or know someone who might have more details, photos, names, dates, artifacts, etc related to the BTW School, please contact Brenda and we will try to incorporate what we can in by products of this celebration!


1     10      20      30      40      50      60      70      80      90      100% of $BTWS Mural goal

 Nearly 150% of BTWS Mural raised as of June 12, 2017!

READ Daily Independent Article May 17, 2017

ASHLAND Don Campbell says the first time he learned of the Booker T. Washington School mural came from a recent newspaper article.

READ Daily Independent Article May 12, 2017


Thanks to Peoples' Bank for $2,000 Donation!!!


Dan Muhan-ACTC, Alyssa Coleman-Peoples' Bank, Al Baker-ACTC, Bren Martin, UCAN, Jerry Johnson-Muralist


Please write your tax-deductible check

or money order for BTWS Mural out to:

          "Ashland In Motion/BTWS Mural"
1509 Winchester Avenue
Ashland, KY 41101
For more questions, call Mrs. Martin: 606-571-0917.

Thanks to Ashland In Motion, a 501(c)(3),

for managing the donations for the BTWS Mural! They will also send you a receipt.

Please indicate if your donations are anonymous,

otherwise they might be advertised in the news, on social media, websites, etc. 

Visit our Facebook page

 Note: In the event more money is raised for a mural, than needed, the extra will go toward the other mural(s) if unfinished or to the general fund for UCAN scholarships, workshops, etc. 


We will soon start Raising funds for this separate project next!!! Contact Brenda Martin if you are interested in serving on this committee!



As sufficient funding is earned or donated, another "separate" mural will be of "historical" cultural churches in the Ashland area that are over 100 years old*:

  • New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, (upper right)
  • Johnson Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, (upper left)
  • Christ Temple Pentecostal Apostolic Church, (lower right)
  • St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church (lower left) and
  • St. John Methodist Episcopal Church in Greenup (center)  

Along with a tribute portrait to Bishop Thomas. A third wall will contain a tribute to diversity by students; smaller ads for larger donations.. See below* for details.

We still Need FUND$$!  Thanks to the City of Ashland for preparing the walls

UCAN, Inc. purchased the needed projector which was several hundred dollars!

The CHURCH MURAL will be Dedicated to the 


who pastored CHRIST TEMPLE Church over 51 years. 

"My husband would be honored about having the church mural dedicated to him." Margaret Thomas

(Click here for more about the contributions of this great family & community man!)

                                                                    Suffragan Bishop Elzy H. Thomas

Bishop Thomas and his church hosted some of our fundraisers and attended BTW School for 12 years which was close to his heart. “Young children hear their parents and grandparents tell stories about the school but often don’t know what it looked like. The mural will help to change that.”  Suffragan Bishop Elzy Thomas, Christ Temple Church (January 2, 1932-July 6, 2013)

 Please write your check

or money order for Church Mural to:

Details to be provided! 

 (Please also write: "Receipt" if you want one mailed, otherwise only donations for $250 or more will receive a receipt and other appropriate forms.)


1     10      20      30      40      50      60      70      80      90      100% of $Church Mural goal


*Note, we have extra offerings for Silver,  Gold & Diamond Donors for the "Church Mural" only:
     Silver: $500-999 | Have your name or business's name painted on the wall

     Gold : $1000 & over |Have your name or business's name plus a picture of an item/person on this historical wall!  We approve the painting/photo to be used based upon such factors as content and space.

Diamond: $1500  Have your cultural church added to separate small mural even though it is under 100 years old, as space permits. 

*We still have approximately 90% to raise, however, if we should raise more than our goal from this effort, the surplus will be applied to scholarships, workshops and/or other UCAN activities. $$$ Other Fund raising or project Ideas are Welcome! $$$

Thank you for your interest and support!

"This project epitomizes what it means to be a part of a progressive area that cares about all of its citizens, heritage and artistic expression." Brenda Martin

Note: In the event more money is raised for a mural, than needed, the extra will go toward the other mural(s) if unfinished or to the general fund for UCAN scholarships, workshops, etc.


News Article: "Work On New Flood Wall Murals to Start"

By  | 

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) - Community groups in Ashland are raising money to celebrate black history by having an area artist paint two murals on the city's floodwall.

The groups organized fundraisers on Saturday at Christ Temple Church.

The murals were first proposed in October, but so far fundraising has been stalled.

One mural would depict Booker T. Washington School, an all-black school that existed in Ashland before mandated integration. The other mural would show several historic black churches in the area. The cost of painting the murals is estimated at $20,000. The murals will be painted by artist Jerry Johnson of Flatwoods.

End of Mural Information



OPERATION Unite: Supporting other Community Agencies

Boyd/Greenup Counties

American Red Cross of Northeast Kentucky – the mission is to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. This chapter serves all of northeast Kentucky. Funding is used to provide emergency communication to military families and servicemen, to provide immediate disaster assistance, to organize blood drives for local hospitals, and to provide health & safety training and education opportunities.

Ashland Area YMCA – Mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. United Way funding is used for youth and teen programs.

Ashland Area Young Professionals "Back Pack Program” – The purpose of this project is to provide needy students attending Boyd and Greenup County schools with back-to-school supplies needed for a successful school year. Funding is used to purchase backpacks and schools supplies for the students.

Ashland Child Development Center  -  ACDC provides quality early childhood educational programs for children ages 6 weeks to 13 years in the Ashland area. Funds will be used to update the facility, staff training and educational materials.

Ashland Community Kitchen – The mission of ACK is to provide any hungry person with a hot, nutritious meal and to treat each person with dignity and respect. Funding is used to purchase food and for operating expenses that result in direct service.

Ashland Senior Center – Their mission is to provide an engaging environment for conversation, activities, hot meals and fellowship for our seniors with a caring and helpful attitude. Funding is used to pay for necessary expenses directly related to the operation and to increase opportunities offered through the Center.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters – The mission of BBBS is to provide guidance and companionship to youth through a one-to-one relationship with a caring volunteer to assist them in achieving their highest potential. Funding is used for operating expenses that result in direct services to children.

Boyd County 4-H – 4-H is a community of young people learning leadership, citizenship and life skills to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. United Way funding is used to provide camping scholarships and education programs.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate of Northeast Kentucky) – Through trained community volunteers, CASA’s purpose is to advocate for children who have been victims of child abuse, neglect and/or abandonment. Their goal is to walk with these children through a very overburdened and complicated legal system until their cases reach a permanent resolution. United Way funding is used to sustain child advocacy services.

CAReS (Community Assistance and Referral Services) – CAReS provides information and referral services to individuals needing emergency food, clothing and utility payments. Funding is used to pay for necessary expenses that are directly related to the continuance of operations.

Clean Start - Located in The Neighborhood, this organization provides individuals the opportunity to take a hot shower, obtain toiletry and cleaning items and is a licensed hair salon, providing free haircuts and shaving by appointment.

Community Hospice – Community Hospice provides medical, spiritual and psychosocial care to terminally ill individuals and their families. Funding is used to provide palliative care services to patients who cannot afford hospice services.

Community Kitchen - Community Kitchen provides meals at 2516 Carter Avenue for the hungry and won a $40,000 grant from Walmart  fall 2017 to expand its offerings. With the funds, community kitchen director Todd Young said the kitchen would be able to open its doors for dinner Monday through Friday. “In the history of the kitchen (clients have) always wanted to go to five nights a week—breakfast, lunch and dinner—and so right now we are running Tuesday and Wednesday evenings,” said Young at the check presentation on Wednesday.  This new schedule will begin on Monday with dinner times being from 4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.


The Dressing Room – A community clothing closet that collects donations of gently used and new clothing and redistributes these clothes to low and moderate income families at no cost. Funding is used to purchase clothing to supplement donations, specifically underwear, socks, hats and gloves.

Friends of the Children – The mission is to provide new clothing and shoes for children in need who attend the Ashland Public Schools. United Way funding is used to purchase clothing.

Girl Scouts (Wilderness Road) – Girl Scouting builds girls of courage confidence and character who make the world a better place. Funding is used to provide scholarships for girls and for operating expenses the result in direct services to girls.

Greenup County Habitat for Humanity – Organization founded on the conviction that everyone should have a simple and decent place to live. Funding is used to purchase construction materials.

Greenup 4-H - 4-H is a community of young people learning leadership, citizenship and life skills to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. United Way funding will be used for camp scholarships and the Cloverbud Day Camp program.

Greenup Meals on Wheels – The mission if to work to help end senior hunger in Greenup County, to see that no senior has to make a decision between purchasing food and medication. Funding is used to cover food purchase and preparation expenses and to increase the number of clients served.

Helping Hands of Greenup County – The mission is to assist with emergency and immediate needs of persons or families in Greenup County through direct distribution of food and clothing, referral and education. Funding is used to provide food, utility assistance and cleaning supplies for clients

Hillcrest Bruce Mission – The agency's purpose is to embrace, encourage, empower and equip the low-income clients we serve and to assist with their survival by meeting their needs. Funding supports the free preschool.

Hope’s Place – Hope’s Place is a victim-focused, Children’s Advocacy Center that provides a safe atmosphere, lessens trauma and promotes healing by maximizing services through a multidisciplinary team approach for child victims of sexual abuse. United Way funding is used to provide services to the child victims and their families.

Kentucky Child Assault Prevention - KCAP exists to educate school staff, parents, and children to stop the cycle of hild abuse in eastern Kentucky. Funding will be used to purchase educational materials for use in the classrooms.

Northeast Kentucky Care Center – the purpose of NEKCC is to provide health care to residents of Boyd and Greenup counties who are at increased risk of developing the complication of chronic disease due to being medically uninsured through the operation of a free health and dental clinic. Funding will be used to purchase medical supplies for the clinic.

Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital Meals on Wheels -  The mission is to provide nutritious meals and good help to elderly/disabled individuals to enable them to live in their own homes, safely and comfortably as long as possible. Funds are used to provide meals to indigent clients.

Partners in Pride – The purpose of this organization is to provide clothing for needy students in the Russell School System. United Way funds are used to purchase clothing for students.

Pathways – Pathway’s mission is to plan, coordinate and provide the Behavior Health Services needed by the people in the FIVCO and GATEWAY Area Development districts. Funding will be used for job readiness and job development, training and follow-up services.

River Cities Harvest - River Cities Harvest serves area organizations that feed the hungry through the collection and distribution of perishable and non-perishable food items. United Way Funding is used to upgrade temporary food storage areas, promote programs and projects run by RCH and increase the ability of their recipient agencies to supply food to their clients.

R.O.S.E. Society – ROSE stands for Reaching Our Students Everyday. The mission of the ROSE Society is to provide opportunities for all Boyd County Students. Funding is used to purchase socks and underwear for the annual Readifest event, shoes as needed throughout the year and other needs as requested by parents and teachers.

Safe Harbor of Northeast KY – Safe Harbor provides residential services and crisis intervention, adult counseling, life skills, and GED tutoring to victims of abuse. Funding is used for necessary expenses that are directly related to providing services to clients.

Salvation Army – The purpose is to disseminate Christian truths, supply basic human necessities, provide personal counseling and undertake the spiritual and moral regeneration and physical rehabilitation of all persons in need who come within its sphere of influence. Funding is used to assist families and individuals with expenses for basic needs and for the delivery of services relating to these basic needs.

Shelter of Hope – The mission is to provide extended emergency shelter and transitional housing for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless: provide them with the tools necessary to become self-sufficient during their transitional time. United Way funding is used to cover agency operating costs.

South Shore Meals On Wheels - The mission is to provide nutritious meals and good help to elderly/disabled individuals to enable them to live in their own homes, safely and comfortably as long as possible. Funds are used to provide meals to clients.

Boy Scouts (Simon Kenton) - The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, prepare them to make ethical choices over their lifetime in achieving their full potential. Funding is used to support membership, program and Unit service functions.

Two Hearts Pregnancy Center – the mission of Two Hearts is to affirm the value of life by providing a network of care in a Christian setting to those experiencing pregnancy-related crisis.

United Way of Northeast Kentucky -UWNEKY is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization that works with 65 partner agencies and other community organizations to improve lives in neighborhoods, schools and workplaces.

Westwood Boys/Girls Club – The purpose is to provide a positive environment while building self-esteem, integrity, sportsmanship and respect. United Way funding is used to support operating and maintenance costs.



Click here For More Local Information.

Contact them if you would like to be a driver or to make donations.


Highlands Museum


  "All are Called to Serve!"

Community Kitchen

Needs servers Monday-Friday 11:30-12:30 (See update above)

New Location 2516 Carter Avenue
Ashland, KY 41101-7553
(606) 325-8144

(Call for dinner hours also.)

Click here to Sign-up online to Volunteer.


Helping Hands of Greenup County

Read story from Daily Independent

What: Community Volunteer Work Available at
Where: Helping Hands Office, Food Pantry, and Thrift Store
               412 Main Street, Downtown Greenup
How:  Community members will be cleaning and organizing Helping Hands to make it more efficient and functional.

If you need more information about Helping Hands or any of our volunteer opportunities please call 606.473.6916, email info@helpinghandsofgreenup.com, or stop by the office 412 Main Street, Downtown Greenup. Find them on facebook, http://www.facebook.com/helpinghandsofgreenup


 Make plans to visit the new Home to 4H:  Greenup County

Extension Education Facility


Free Webinars and other Information re: Individuals  with Intellectual Disabilities

The American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) is hosting its best practices webinars based on Intellectual Disability: Definition, Classification, and Systems of Supports, and more.