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      DNC trip helps change residents' perspective of Birmingham

      Whether Birmingham is chosen or not, the DNC selection committee's trip alone is a big win."Birmingham, I believe is a city that's been able to look the past in the face, learn from it and move forward from it," said Pricilla Hancock Cooper, Interim President of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. "And that's something not a lot of cities have done."It's a story Cooper hopes the DNC selection committee will take note of. The Interim president of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute believes the trip is a symbol of the city's progress."I think Birmingham is beginning to recognize not only its potential but the reality of its growth," added Cooper. "We're beginning to hear a lot of conversations about a new Birmingham."It's history, though, is not to be forgotten. Signs welcoming the committee read, "DNC 2016" and "History happens here.""The images of the fire hoses and dogs is something that people were embarrassed and did feel apologetic about, understandably, but the bigger story to me is in spite of that, the city was able to transform itself and you and I can be sitting here having this conversation," said Cooper."I think perhaps the most important part of all of it though is the psychological impact," said Bryan Hilson, President of Birmingham Business Alliance.Hilson says the application process for hosting the DNC is eye opening for the citizens of Birmingham."I think it's a healthy process because the community learns more about itself," explained Cooper. "It's good to be in the business of marketing yourself because it kind of keeps you on your toes and from a fiscal aspect, Birmingham can meet the needs of the DNC, the requirements they have laid out, we can meet those."Hilson points out the biggest city is not always the best. He believes Birmingham's eagerness and its people will set it apart from the others.
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