In 2022, the National Trust for Historic Preservation's HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience) program in partnership with the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund presented a 6-month paid fellowship to students studying at three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Florida A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, and Tuskegee University.
With guidance from the HOPE Crew team, mentor architects, trades experts, and faculty advisors, participants moved through a project planning experience that included historical research, project development opportunities, budget creation, leadership training, and other speaking and presentation assignments. The cohort of 5 students—Joshua Francis and Cornelis Pace (Florida A&M University), LaTavia Latham and Gabrielle Payne (Prairie View A&M University), and Jordan Lamar (Tuskegee University)—focused on an array of campus documentation, historically black burial ground preservation, and historic site and landscape engagement in their respective university’s community. Their research and planning informed in-person projects where the fellows led their classmates in learning a preservation skill.
To share the impact of the digital documentation fellowship and the way in which it has encouraged and supported the integration of historic preservation at HBCUs, HOPE Crew, in partnership with the Action Fund has produced a documentary featuring the five students from this year’s cohort. Watch the trailer for the film below and check back for the full documentary and a series of shorts that provides a deeper look at the student's experiences and the broader partnership with each HBCU.