LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Black Mayors Association celebrates 50 years of leadership and the work African American men and women have done across the state.

Back in 1972, there were 12 black mayors in Arkansas.

Today, that’s more than tripled with at least 58 serving communities in the natural state.

The Arkansas Black Mayors Association works with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help support mayors in improving the quality of life for it’s residents in smaller communities.

The president of the association, Julian Lott, said seeing such an increase in the number of black mayors in Arkansas is awesome, and Saturday night is to remember those who served and made Arkansas a great state.

“The people in this room are not just making history, they’re making a difference. They are people who come and they see us, our children come and they see us in those positions, it gives them an opportunity to dream and to believe in what they can do, and what they can become,” said Lott.

Lott said 50 other mayors from around the state were in attendance to the event.

He said he is so thankful to be able to meet some of the people who have made such a large impact.

“It is so exciting because I have heard stories and I have heard tales and today I get to look into the eyes of these people who make these things happen,” said Lott.           

Lott said they have announces million dollar projects they will be working on through the rest of the year to help with infrastructure, highways, roads, and water quality.

“The best is yet to come,” said Lott.