The Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald Schools Act of 2019 (H.R. 3250) would require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resources study of sites associated with the life and legacy of philanthropist and businessman Julius Rosenwald, with a particular focus on Rosenwald Schools.
On June 13, Congress took a big step towards establishing a national historical park that would honor the legacy of Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) jointly introduced the Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools Study Act (H.R. 3250/S. 1863), which would require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resources study of associated sites and craft a path forward to commemorate this vital part of our nation’s history.
The National Trust played an integral role in creating a national campaign to support these efforts. Stay tuned for more information and a way for you to get involved this summer. In the meantime, contact your members of Congress and ask them to support this new legislation.
On January 12th, the National Trust for Historic Preservation received a $50,000 federal grant through the National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant Program for the Rosenwald Schools Mapping Project. The funded project will enhance documentation and interpretation of extant Rosenwald Schools and the stories they tell. Using story maps, combining spatial information with text and audiovisuals will promote greater understanding of the schools' past and present.
"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," National Park Service Acting Director Michael Reynolds said.In 2016 Congress appropriated funds through the historic preservation fund for the $7.75 million grant program in support of historic preservation of sites associated with the civil rights movement and stories of the African American experience. In total, 39 projects (including projects two other National Treasures sites, A.G. Gaston Motel and Pauli Murray House) were funded in over 20 states.
The Campbell County (Virginia) Board of Supervisors formally announced its support for a local preservation group's plan to restore a former Rosenwald School in Rustburg.
"In Campbell County, Gabe Hunt and the Rev. T.W. Tweedy mortgaged their homes for $500 to help build the Campbell County Training School. It offered the first post-sixth grade education for black students in Campbell County. The curriculum was designed by Booker T. Washington and focused on trades for men and women."
This is another excellent example of local preservationists coming together to support the restoration of a Rosenwald school in their community.
Read more on the WSLS-TV website.
Our team loves to hear firsthand accounts of those who attended Rosenwald Schools, and learn about the specific impact it made in their lives and communities. One such school was covered by the Washington Post on Sunday, that we just had to share. The story is about a schoolhouse named Ridgeley, built in 1927 in Capitol Heights, Md. The Post explores the influence this Rosenwald School had on students and also what the larger initiative meant for education in black communities across the south.
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