Villa Lewaro, New York

photo by: Villa Lewaro

African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund

Tell the Full American Story

  • Tell the Full Story

    Too often the places where significant African American history happened have been unrecognized for the important role they play in the fabric of American society.

  • African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund

    The National Trust for Historic Preservation is working to fill this gap through our African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. Stand with us.

    Take the Pledge
  • We Can’t Do It Without You!

    Join us in protecting and restoring places where significant African American history happened.

    Give Today


e owe it to ourselves, our ancestors, and our future generations to preserve—and share—the full American story. Sometimes preserving that story means working through a difficult past to create a more inclusive future. Sometimes it means amplifying the voices of those who historically have been silenced. No matter the approach, we believe every American should be able to see themselves, their history, and their potential in both our collective story and our national landscape.

To encourage this growing movement, the National Trust and its partners are working to raise $25 million to create and invest in the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund—the largest preservation campaign ever undertaken on behalf of African American history. Our mission: to draw attention to the remarkable stories that evoke centuries of African American activism and achievement, and to tell our nation’s full history.

Indeed, the stories and places of African American culture and heritage have always existed, but too often have not been fully acknowledged for the integral role they play in the fabric of American society.

We are committed to crafting a narrative that expands our view of history and, ultimately, begins to reconstruct our national identity, while inspiring a new generation of activists to advocate for our diverse historic places.

Funding Preservation: Grant Recipients for 2020

Learn more about the 27 places and organizations receiving more than $1.6 million in grants in 2020 through the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

Tell the Full Story. Take the Pledge.

From the homes of icons including Nina Simone and Pauli Murray, to civil rights sites such as the A.G. Gaston Motel and Clayborn Temple, join us in protecting and restoring places where significant African American history happened.

In the Action Fund's first three years we have awarded grants, totaling more than $4.3 million, to preservation organizations across the country, with funding going to support the preservation of sites and stories of black history. These grants covered work in communities from Birmingham to the South Side of Chicago, including sites of struggle and strength.

We have also used the Action Fund to provide grants to African American historic sites and empower youth through Hands-On Preservation Experience (HOPE Crew). At our National Trust Historic Sites, we have modeled innovative approaches to interpreting and preserving African American cultural heritage.

And through it all, we have worked on the ground with communities and cities to protect significant historic places and elevate their stories through our National Treasures program.

We continue work on key preservation efforts, including conducting research exploring the impact that preservation has on contemporary urban issues that disproportionately affect communities of color—equity, displacement, and affordability. Additionally, support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will continue, from celebrating their history to advocating for the reauthorization of the HBCU Historic Preservation Program, which ensures that their histories and legacies are preserved.

Support the Action Fund today.

The Action Fund marks a major step forward in how we save and sustain historic African American places. We invite you to join us.

“Without a thorough reckoning with the complex and difficult history of our country, especially when it comes to race, we will not be able to overcome intolerance, injustice, and inequality. We have an opportunity with this Fund to broaden the American narrative to reflect our remarkably rich and diverse history.”

Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation