• Pauli Murray: Giving an Unsung Hero her Due

    April 2, 2017

    Saturday April 1 was a glorious day in Durham as the long-held vision of seeing Pauli Murray’s family home crowned a National Historic Landmark was realized.

    400 people from far and wide joined a “Homecoming” event to celebrate the National Park Service’s plaque dedication, officially bestowing the nation’s highest preservation honor upon the home. Poetry, singing, art making, and stirring remarks about Pauli Murray's vision for justice helped commemorate her life and legacy on a most memorable day. Attendees included representatives from U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield's office, Durham Mayor Bill Bell, the Durham County Commissioners, NAACP, NOW, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

    Rosita Stevens-Holsey also attended the ceremony, representing the Murray side of the family, and offered these words about her aunt’s vision:

    “Pauli was determined the future would not be the past — for women, for blacks, for the forgotten and overlooked,” she said. Stevens-Holsey said that while Murray was a deep thinker and serious person, she also had a lighter side and sense of humor.

    “She was a fortress and a guiding light for others,” Stevens-Holsey said. “I am so grateful to know Aunt Pauli is no longer an unsung hero.”

    The crowd was invited into the house for the first time to engage with new exhibits and to check out the renovation plans for the interior of the home. Fundraising efforts continue in earnest for the Pauli Murray Project, which endeavors to open the home to the public as a social justice and history center in 2020.

  • "Homecoming" Celebration for Pauli Murray House's National Historic Landmark Designation

    March 27, 2017

    photo by: Pauli Murray Project

    We are thrilled that on April 1, 2017, we will join our partners in the Pauli Murray House National Treasure campaign to celebrate its designation as a National Historic Landmark (NHL) by the National Park Service. Events will include the NHL plaque ceremony, a community party, exhibits, arts activities, walking tours, and more.

    We invite everyone in the Durham area to join us from Noon - 5 pm at 906 Carroll St. and help us show our appreciation for the life and work of Pauli Murray. If you can attend, it'd be helpful to RSVP via this link so we know how many folks are coming out! We hope to see you there.

  • Pauli Murray House Receives $237K Grant for Interior Rehabilitation

    January 23, 2017

    More good news! National Park Service recently announced that the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice is one of the awardees of its National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant Program! Our partner, the Pauli Murray Project will use a $237,575 grant to rehabilitate the interior of Pauli Murray’s childhood home in Durham, N.C. This vital funding will make it possible for the home of this extraordinary scholar, author, activist, priest and attorney to reopen a modern center for history and social justice in 2020.

    "Through the African American Civil Rights Grant Program, we're helping our public and private partners tell unique and powerful stories of the African American struggle for equality in the 20th Century," said National Park Service Acting Director Michael Reynolds.

    Other recipients include an initiative to bring preservation training to Birmingham’s A.G. Gaston Motel and a GIS mapping project related to Rosenwald Schools, two other National Treasure campaigns.

  • Success! Pauli Murray’s Home Named a National Historic Landmark

    January 11, 2017

    The wait is over! After first being reviewed in October by the Advisory Board of the National Park System, we’ve received official word from the Department of the Interior that Secretary Sally Jewell has approved the Pauli Murray Family Home as a National Historic Landmark!

    We are rejoicing in this news with our partners, the Pauli Murray Project and the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, the many scholars, activists, elected officials, religious leaders, and advocacy organizations from across the country that wrote in support of the nomination, and the 2,700 individuals who signed our petition urging Secretary Jewell to designate the home an NHL.

    Stephanie Meeks, our president and CEO articulated the significance of the designation this way:

    “Pauli Murray was an accomplished human rights activist, historian, attorney, poet, and teacher who believed in justice, reconciliation, and freedom. And yet her deep and far-reaching legacy has been mostly obscured and unheralded. Honoring her childhood home as a National Historic Landmark is a vital step toward ensuring her many contributions are never forgotten. This recognition will energize our efforts to reopen the home as a center for history and social justice and bring greater attention to Pauli Murray’s legal scholarship and activism against discrimination.”

    Though incredibly gratified to reach this milestone, our work to make the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice is far from over. Find out how you can help here, and stay tuned for more information about an NHL plaque dedication at the home in spring 2017!

  • Landmark designation moves closer to reality; play depicting Pauli Murray's life opens in Durham

    November 18, 2016

    Pauli Murray’s life story and legacy is shining bright these days—which is especially fitting as it would be her 106th birthday on Sunday, November 20.

    On November 18, the National Park System Advisory Board voted to recommend to the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell that Pauli Murray’s Family Home in Durham, N.C. be named a National Historic Landmark (NHL).

    According to the National Park Service website, “The Advisory Board includes citizens who are national and community leaders in the conservation of natural, historic, and cultural areas…In most cases, designation by the Secretary occurs six to eight weeks following the Advisory Board's recommendation.”

    In the meantime, while we await good news about the NHL designation, a play depicting key chapters in Pauli Murray’s extraordinary life comes to the stage in Durham in early December.

    From the Pauli Murray Project website:

    “Using archival images, three chairs, and a typewriter, the performers bring to life 60 characters, six decades, and two continents in this acting tour de force.” The play, To Buy the Sun, “opens on the evening of February 12, 1977, the night before Pauli Murray’s historic appearance at The Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill. CBS’ Charles Kuralt and crew have been following Murray all day as part of their On the Road broadcast. Now, for the first time in decades, Pauli returns to the old family home place to reflect on the life and times of America and her place in its history, while she crafts the words she will speak tomorrow to the two million viewers. As Pauli Murray revisits old haunts and old friends, from Harlem to Harvard and Eleanor Roosevelt to Betty Friedan, the purpose of her life takes on a new and unexpected shape.”

    We’ll be sure to update this page with news of the NHL designation and ways to support the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice.

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