On July 26, 2019, the National Trust's HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience) wrapped up a project at Bethel Baptist Church’s Parsonage in Birmingham, a site crucial to the Civil Rights Movement and the designated contact point in Alabama for the 1961 Freedom Ride from Washington, D.C. to Mississippi.
Under the umbrella of the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, HOPE Crew performed work on the property as part of its partnership with the Fund II Foundation to engage African American youth in learning preservation trades at sites tied to African American achievement and activism.
The crew members were provided by Cornerstone Revitalization Foundation YouthBuild Program. Between July 15 and 26, 2019, the team carefully documented and restored the windows of the parsonage under the supervision of a local master craftsman, Jim Turner.
Other past and upcoming HOPE Crew activities made possible with Fund II support include preservation projects at the Nina Simone Childhood Home in Tryon, North Carolina, the home of John and Alice Coltrane in Long Island, Atlanta’s Herndon Home Museum, and six-week intensive internships for architecture students enrolled at two HBCUs—part of Fund II Foundation’s commitment to diversifying STEM fields of education.