On behalf of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, I am pleased to announce another important milestone in our effort to preserve and empower Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country through focused stewardship, funding, and guidance.
Today, the Action Fund will award a total of $650,000 in grants to five HBCUs. Each of these prestigious schools are stewards of important architecture, historic assets, cultural landscapes, and collections, which represent more than a century of learning, growing, and empowerment for their students, faculty, and alumni.
HBCU campuses are much more than complexes of buildings and landscapes. They are holders of both a weighted history and the promise of the future. All of these institutions were founded in the 19th century, the earliest in 1865 (Shaw University, Raleigh, NC) and the youngest in 1897 (Voorhees College, Denmark, SC). Over time, their campuses have become incredible places of historic merit and cultural significance. Intrinsic in the fabric of these places is the vitality of the community and endowment of civic identity which imbues the unique experience of attending and participating in the academic life of an HBCU.
As we launched this new initiative in 2020, we were honored to have funded eight grantees in February 2021 and are thrilled to invest in this next cohort of exceptional institutions.
Unique to this set of grants, we are able to advance this idea of a campus-wide preservation plan—a roadmap for preserving and celebrating the historic and hallowed places important to their institutional legacy. There are 105 HBCUs across the country, and their infrastructure needs are becoming more and more urgent on their aging campuses. These campus-wide plans can ensure that legacy remains a part of any future improvement, development, or maintenance. This legacy-focused planning will ensure that these campuses will continue to serve and empower the present and next generation through education, community, and identity.
I am pleased to announce our award grantees for 2022:
Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida
Rust College, Holly Springs, Mississippi
Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina
Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina
Voorhees College, Denmark, South Carolina
I invite you to read more about each of these grant recipients here.
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