Press Release | Washington, DC | November 4, 2021

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn receives the John H. Chafee Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy

Each year the National Trust for Historic Preservation honors distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and corporations who are making a profound contribution to American memory and legacy with the National Preservation Awards at its annual national PastForward Conference. This year the conference is taking place from November 2-5.

During the awards ceremony this evening, House Majority Whip James Clyburn from South Carolina’s 6th Congressional district was granted The John H. Chafee Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy. Rep. Clyburn is the highest ranking Black lawmaker to ever serve in the U.S. Congress.

“Rep. Clyburn’s appreciation and advocacy for preserving African American historic sites and culture has spanned decades of achievement, said Paul Edmondson, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “His singular dedication to the creation of the Reconstruction Era National Park and its National Network ensures that this critically important period is truthfully interpreted through powerful historic places in Beaufort County, South Carolina and across the country.

“In addition, his success in securing funding for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), National Heritage Areas, his leadership in authorizing funding for the preservation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and a range of national networks of historic sites has highlighted and connected historic places that are highly significant and incredibly relevant to our nation’s present and future. It is an honor to present The John H. Chafee Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy to Rep. James E. Clyburn for the important work he is doing in South Carolina and the United States.”

The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on those whose skill and determination have made a positive impact in their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. This year’s recipients demonstrate the power of new community-centered activations of important landmarks; the deep significance of cultural landscapes and their ongoing stewardship; the perseverance of individuals and organizations using historic places to tell the full, true history of our country; the importance of companies and crafts people whose work restores the richness of the past; and the visionary leadership of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation from the local to the federal level.

This year’s awards ceremony included a special tribute to the late Richard H. Driehaus for his tremendous legacy of national and international preservation philanthropy. The ceremony was hosted by legendary television host of This Old House and preservationist Bob Vila, who serves as a trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The event is part of PastForward Online 2021. The program was recorded and can be viewed for free via this link:

The 2021 National Preservation Award Winners:

  • Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award for Lifetime Achievement: Patricia M. O’Donnell, FASLA, ACIP, F. ICOMOS, Charlotte, Vermont
  • American Express Aspire Award: Jordan Ryan, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Trustees’ Award for Organizational Excellence: WeGOJA Foundation, Statewide, South Carolina
  • The National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation: Black Officers Club, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
  • The John H. Chafee Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy: U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (SC-06), South Carolina
  • The Trustees Emeritus Award for Historic Site Stewardship: China Alley Preservation Society, Hanford, California

The 2021 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Award Winners:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Washington, DC
  • Moynihan Train Hall, New York, New York
  • Milwaukee Soldiers Home, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

PastForward Conference

PastForward is the annual conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, November 2-5, attracting thousands of people passionate about saving places. Attendees include preservationists, advocates and architects, city planners and historic site directors, students and elected officials, commissioners, and main street directors. This year’s theme is Lead the Change, focusing on the topics of promoting equity and justice through historic preservation, adapting to a changing climate, and sharpening essential practices of preservation.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. | @savingplaces

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