• New Gift to African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Will Support Hands-On Preservation Training Efforts

    May 2, 2019

    Five HOPE Crew corpsmembers paint the exterior of Nina Simone's childhood home white.

    Participants paint the exterior of Nina Simone's childhood home in Tryon, North Carolina.

    On May 2, 2019, the National Trust announced a leadership gift from the Fund II Foundation through the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund to scale up the HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience) program on its five-year anniversary to train more African American young people in the preservation building trades while preserving historic sites tied to African American achievement and activism. Fund II Foundation's support represents the largest investment in HOPE Crew's history.

    The first HOPE Crew project undertaken with Fund II support will be Nina Simone's childhood home, a National Trust National Treasure being restored through the Action Fund in Tryon North Carolina. The seven HOPE Crew participants for the upcoming project, provided by the Schenck Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center of North Carolina, will be at the home for several days, repairing and repainting its exterior. The project is an important first step in preparing the home for extensive rehabilitation and reuse.

    Fund II's support of HOPE Crew in the upcoming year is tied to two of the foundation's key pillars: preserving African American cultural heritage and introducing young people to occupations in STEM-related fields. According to Linda Wilson, executive director of the Fund II Foundation, "The projects celebrate iconic figures, instill community pride, and also provide the opportunity to educate around them and their achievements for generations to come."

    Other HOPE Crew activities planned with Fund II support include preservation projects at the Pittsburgh home of author August Wilson, the John and Alice Coltrane Home and Chicago's South Side Community Art Center (both National Treasures of the National Trust), and six-week intensive internships for architecture students enrolled at Historically Black Colleges and Universities Morgan State University and Tuskegee University.

  • Cultural Preservation Leadership Summit Shapes Agenda for a Fuller Telling of the American Story

    April 8, 2019

    A community of America’s thought leaders and cultural influencers convened in New York City on March 28-29, 2019, to articulate an innovative agenda for preserving African American history and stories as an engine of social justice through the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. In partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, and The JPB Foundation, the summit capitalized on the national spotlight and momentum around the Action Fund to create a nation where all Americans see their stories, history, and potential in the African American historic places that surround us.

    Action Fund Advisory Council co-chairs Darren Walker and Phylicia Rashad kicked off an evening of music and conversation at the historic Apollo Theater, with jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and Action Fund Advisory Council co-chair Elizabeth Alexander, president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. What followed was a day of dynamic and inspirational dialogue with a think tank of leaders from every sector—the arts, business, policymaking, academia, preservation, and more. We explored a forward-looking future and the role of cultural entrepreneurs, arts activists, preservation philanthropists, students, filmmakers, playwrights, and other new voices in shaping and defining our emerging social movement called the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

    From our panelists and moderators like Richelieu Dennis, Linda Wilson, Adam Pendleton, Daniel Beatty, and Yoruba Richen, to the next generation of cultural preservation professionals, to the Action Fund Advisory Council members Sherrilyn Ifill, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Evelyn Higginbotham, Irvin Henderson, Rep. Terri Sewell, and Dana Bourland, these and other speakers made this landmark event a success. They continue to inspire and motivate new forms of partnership, interpretation, and community.

    The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is the largest nonprofit campaign ever undertaken to elevate and celebrate African American history in the places where it happened nationwide. The Action Fund is investing $25 million to save the places where African American artists, activists, and achievers of every generation made their mark and moved us all closer to America’s founding ideals. An esteemed National Advisory Council of America’s most respected and penetrating thinkers and leaders guides and directs this effort.

    Learn more about the Action Fund.

    Support us now.

  • National Trust and the Green Book Featured on Good Morning Washington

    February 25, 2019

    On Monday, February 25, 2019, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Brent Leggs spoke on Good Morning Washington about a new documentary from the Smithsonian Channel, The Green Book: Guide to Freedom. During the segment, Leggs took a brief look at the history and legacy of the Green Book travel guide, as well as the work that the National Trust is doing to preserve places of African American achievement, activism, and community.

    To learn more about the documentary (premiering tonight on the Smithsonian Channel) and the National Trust's work tell the stories that have long been ignored, watch the video.

  • National Trust Speaks on African American History and Green Book on Today Show

    February 13, 2019

    On Wednesday, February 13, 2019, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Brent Leggs spoke as part of a Today Show panel about a new documentary from the Smithsonian Channel, The Green Book: Guide to Freedom. During the segment, Leggs and his co-panelists, including documentary director Yoruba Riche, Emmy Award-winning journalist Carol Jenkins, and public health expert Dr. Henrie Monteith Treadwell, took a brief look at the history and legacy of the Green Book travel guide.

    To learn more about the documentary and the National Trust's work to tell the full history of African American people and places, watch the video.

  • New Action Fund Video From Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Phylicia Rashad, and More

    February 11, 2019

    Today, while many historic places are remembered for their national importance, others have not been fully acknowledged for the role they play in the fabric of American society.

    When we share these places’ stories with the world, we amplify the voices of those who have been historically silenced. We ensure that every American can see themselves, their history, and their potential in our collective story and in our national landscape.

    Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Aldis Hodge, Marcus Scribner, and Phylicia Rashad are united by the places that matter to them—from a childhood church to a tiny Afro-Caribbean neighborhood in Miami to an elite educational institution for African Americans to the Lorraine Motel, all of these places contribute to America’s full history.

    Learn more about these places and find out how you can get involved through the video below.

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Announcing the 2019 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

See the List