Content Focus: Promoting Equity and Justice Through Historic Preservation

August 25, 2021

Building on the success of last year's online conference, preservationists from across the country and all walks of life will come together virtually November 2–5 at PastForward Online 2021, the country’s only national preservation conference, to ask ourselves important questions and identify ways to take action based on our shared values and priorities.

An increased awareness of the inequities in our society created by our nation’s history of discrimination means the preservation community is confronting its own roles, both positive and negative. We seek to evolve our work to better support equitable development, tell the full American story, and support stronger, more inclusive communities.

This subtheme will provide opportunities for listening, understanding, and learning from diverse perspectives and innovative community-led initiatives. Highlights include:

  • A Conversation About Landscapes and Preservation as Justice, featuring MacArthur Fellow, and public artist Walter Hood and Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.
  • Boosting Sensory Interpretation at Historic Sites: Learn how physical, digital and social spaces can be more inclusive to differing abilities and preferences.
  • African American Land Ownership in Urban Cultural Heritage Preservation: Explore the role of African American land retention in mitigating against the negative effects of the re-introduction of new capital, populations, and culture into these neighborhoods.
  • Descendants of Slavery and the Equitable Stewardship of Historic Sites: This session will focus on the radical and revelatory work that descendants of slavery have been leading at their ancestral historic places.
  • Resources for Racial Equity in Preservation: Hear about new data, case studies, and resources to strengthen Diversity Equity Inclusion and Accessibility work at the state and local levels.
  • Monuments and Memorializing the Difficult Past: Explore how society assimilates past events when memory induces controversy instead of consensus.

Join us for PastForward Online 2021, the historic preservation event of the year, November 2-5, 2021.

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