On May 2, 2019, the National Trust announced that with support from the Fund II Foundation, it will broaden the scope of HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience) during its five-year anniversary to focus on engaging African American youth in learning about preservation trades at sites tied to African American achievement and activism. The support from Fund II represents the largest investment in HOPE Crew's history.
The first HOPE Crew project undertaken with Fund II support will be at the Nina Simone Childhood Home (a National Treasure of the National Trust) 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.