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Essex Heritage Receives New Capacity Building Grant from National Park Foundation
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: Essex Heritage
Email The Author: cherig@essexheritage.org
Website: http://essexheritage.org

Salem, MA (January 27, 2021): Essex Heritage is one of 36 park partner organizations to receive a Strong Parks, Strong Communities capacity building grant from the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. This grant will enable Essex Heritage to provide a free professional development program to educators called “Teaching Hidden Histories”. The full list of grantees can be found on the National Park Foundation’s blog.

“Teaching Hidden Histories” was created as a result of youth in the Essex County, MA region asking their teachers for help in preparing them to understand and become active participants in a society and culture that seems increasingly divided. The series utilizes local organizations’ archives, scholars’ expertise, and community members’ voices to explore local historical examples of larger structural inequities and the fight for more access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The effort is driven by North Andover High School history coordinator and Organization of American Historians (OAH) Teacher of the Year, Brian Sheehy.

“We are so grateful to the National Park Foundation for making this important workshop series possible,” says Beth Beringer, Education Director for Essex Heritage. “Our first workshop was a great success with educators and scholars  examining sources and methods for teaching the history of immigration in the Lawrence, Massachusetts area using an inclusive, responsive lens that helps students make meaningful connections to relevant themes.” A recording of this workshop can be viewed at https://youtu.be/feCgYCQlyUk.

The next workshop will take place on March 27 and is entitled, “The Struggle for Liberty, Equality, and Property: Examining Resistance to Exclusionary Policies Against Black People in Essex County.” In this workshop, local experts including Kabria Baumgartner, Assistant Professor of American Studies, University of New Hampshire and Dr. Bethany Jay, Associate Professor of History, Salem State University will examine how these experiences exemplify a larger history of structural policies of exclusion and prejudice, but also perseverance and change. In uncovering some of these stories, we will explore how and why this history has often been hidden from view or distorted to fit more comfortable narratives, discussing implications for our students in today’s world. Registration for this workshop is available at https://forms.gle/sCxFimeM8GXU512U9.

The final workshop will take place in May. More information on “Teaching Hidden Histories” is available at www.UsingEssexHistory.org.

The Strong Parks, Strong Communities capacity building grant program helps address nonprofit park partner needs that have come to the forefront amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Park partners identified resiliency and ability to weather times of uncertainty as priority needs. These grants will enable park partners across the country to expand their impact through new technology, website redesigns, creative visitor engagement, strategic plan development, fundraising campaigns, professional development, and more.

“The National Park Foundation is committed to increasing national park philanthropy across the board, and being responsive to current needs,” said LaTresse Snead, chief program officer for the National Park Foundation. “The capacity building grants help advance park partners’ goals to preserve natural and cultural resources, increase access to public lands for all people, and develop innovative programming.” 

Strong Parks, Strong Communities is a collective effort to grow national park philanthropy, which consists of approximately 450 local philanthropic organizations across the country. Working together on this initiative, the National Park Foundation, National Park Service, and Friends Alliance enhance local philanthropic organizations, bringing park philanthropy to an elevated level. 

The Strong Parks, Strong Communities capacity building grant program is made possible by the National Park Foundation Board of Directors. 

ABOUT ESSEX HERITAGE AND THE ESSEX NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA:
Essex Heritage is the non-profit organization that manages the Essex National Heritage Area by developing programs that enhance, preserve and encourage recreation, education, conservation and interpretation projects on Boston’s North Shore and the Lower Merrimack River Valley. The Essex National Heritage Area comprises the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, MA. For more information, visit EssexHeritage.org or call (978) 740-0444.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION: 
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts and connect all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.


Posted: January 27, 2021
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