Educate. Empower. Support.
Empowering Youth and Families to Reach their Full Potential
Crispus Attucks Community Center strives to improve the quality of life for youth and families in Lancaster by providing services that promote community prosperity, physical and mental health; and by offering programs and cultural events which preserve the African American heritage.
Crispus Attucks sponsors community-wide cultural events, including Lancaster’s Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast, Black History Month events, and the Juneteenth Celebration. The Center is also home base for the African American Veterans Project and the African American Historical Society.
Friday, October 30, 2020 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – Halloween Grab & Go Treat Bags
Monday, January 18, 2021 8:00 am – 33rd Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast
As of July 21, 2020
The Crispus Attucks Community Center will provide free grab-and-go lunches on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 11 a.m. to Noon. The dine-in option is currently suspended. Food bank is every Wednesday from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
- 15th Amendement – Lancaster Celebrates Black Men Who Regained Right to Vote by Dr. Leroy Hopkins
- Register to Vote – VotesPA.com
- Black Lives Matter Movement – https://blacklivesmatter.com/
Crispus Attucks Community Center strives to improve the quality of life for youth and families in Lancaster by providing services that promote community prosperity, physical and mental health, and by offering programs and cultural events which preserve the African American heritage.
The African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania
The mission of the African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania is to collect, analyze, interpret, and preserve essential facts and materials related to the life of African Americans in historic and contemporary communities in South Central Pennsylvania. An important part of that mission is to explore connections with other ethnic and racial communities in South Central Pennsylvania.
In 2013, the Infamous Unstoppables drill team was founded to revive the African American traditions of stepping, dance and drumming. The Infamous Unstoppables is an award-winning program that provides youth an opportunity to embrace and better understand arts and culture, while uplifting the Lancaster community and empowering children.
Reunion Food Truck
The Reunion food truck is a social enterprise that offers delicious Southern fare to the community and gives every customer an opportunity to invest in our community through its mission of Feed Your Soul, Feed Your Neighbor. See more at: www.eatreunion.com.
Crispus Attucks Food Bank
Twice a month, we provide nutritious and wholesome food to members of the community at our food bank. The food bank is open every second and fourth Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. for seniors and individuals with disabilities, and from 4-6 p.m. for others who need support.
PLEASE NOTE: During the COVID-19 crisis, the food bank is operating every Wednesday from 2-6 p.m.
Crispus Attucks Café
The CA Café is open from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays to provide free nutritious meals to our community.
PLEASE NOTE: During the COVID-19 crisis, free hot lunches are being offered to-go on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The dine-in option is currently suspended.
In a collaborative effort between Music for Everyone, Lancaster County Community Foundation and Crispus Attucks Community Center where we provide a safe space for children to explore the importance of music education and an appreciation for the arts through music. We see music education as a portal to program educational success and uplift the vibrancy of our community.
The origins of the Crispus Attucks Community Center are found in the decade after World War I when local veterans returned to a society that was profoundly segregated along racial lines. Lancaster County’s African-American population, due in large part to discrimination and segregation in all aspects of County life, had declined by 30% from a pre-Civil War high of 3,600. A recently arrived pastor at Lancaster City’s Bethel A.M.E. Church, Rev. F.M. Webster, conceived the idea of a “Negro Civic League” to promote the interests of local Blacks in the social, economic, and political arenas. Civic Leagues existed in other states of the Union and Lancaster had a pressing need for what, in today’s terms would be considered a civil rights organization. For the full history, click here.
Ruby M. Payne Cook was the executive director of the Crispus Attucks Community Center for 29 years. She directed the recreational activities of thousands of Lancaster children from 1930 until her retirement when she was honored at a testimonial dinner.
A pioneer in social service work in the Lancaster area, Mrs. Cook came to the Crispus Attucks Recreation Center in 1929.
On her retirement 30 years later, she was asked how many children had gone through the center during her long tenure. “They’ll run into the thousands,” she said at the time, “I know that when I left I was working with the grandchildren of the teenagers who were at the center when I first came there.”
When she joined the staff, the organization was in two rented rooms at 449 S. Duke St., the budget was $1,000 a year, and she said, “we rented rooms in the rest of the house to make ends meet.” A great believer in “people power,” Mrs. Cook was often quoted as saying that she could never estimate the dollar value of service contributed by all segments of the community.
In 1963, she was given the distinguished citizen’s award by the Venture Club; and in 1966, she received a citation from the National Recreation Association. She also received a certificate of achievement from Mayor Thomas J. Monaghan for Oustanding Civic Service in connection with work done for the Lancaster Redevelopment Authority in the Adams-Musser Towns projects.
Mrs. Cook, who was the wife of Culbreth B. Cook, resided in Lancaster from 1930 until 1958, and in Millersville from 1958 until 1967. Born in Carlisle, Ohio, a daughter of the late Andrew J. and Sophia E. Kernan Martin, she was graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wilberforce University in 1916, and took graduate courses at the University of Wisconsin and Chicago University. She also had National recreation Association training.
Before coming to Lancaster, Mrs. Cook taught at St. Augustine’s College, Raleigh, NC; East High School, Xenia Ohio and Lincoln High School, Paducah, KY. In addition to her work at Crispus Attucks, she served as the Board of Directors of the Mental Hygiene Association; the YWCA; the Lancaster Day Nursery; and the advisory board committee of the Family and Children’s Service.