National Trust for Historic Preservation: African American Cultural Heritage Fund

Recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia and elsewhere, and the national debate they have engendered about the ways our collective past is represented in our culture and public spaces, create both a unique opportunity and compelling responsibility for leading organizations in our country. We believe now is the time to come together to carry the national narrative beyond Confederate heritage, make a bold commitment to celebrating the many overlooked contributions of the African American community, and make an important and lasting contribution to the cultural landscape of our country.

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The events in Charlottesville and the subsequent debates regarding the treatment of monuments and memorials to Confederate leaders and heroes has contributed to further divisions within our society. Many of our communities are grappling with these issues and seeking ways to bridge the divides.

Occasionally, the Council learns of initiatives that might be of interest to a wide swath of our membership and this is one of them. Our intention is to generate awareness in case this might be of interest to you. With this in mind, we are hosting a member call to share plans underway by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for a national campaign for an African American Cultural Heritage Fund. Rather than focus on tearing down monuments and memorials, the campaign will emphasize the need to recognize overlooked but significant sites and important places that expand the American narrative. As a part of this initiative, the Trust could also provide assistance to communities seeking to create participatory processes for imagining new public monuments reflecting contemporary narratives. 

This campaign and fund is very much a work in progress and would benefit from feedback of those might be interested in possibly supporting such an initiative.  Join Stephanie Meeks, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to learn more about the campaign. 


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