Reflecting on Charlottesville, One Year Later
Statement by Stephanie Meeks, President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
“In the year since the tragic events in Charlottesville, we have seen a movement towards hope, peace and justice emerge in response—yet there is still work to be done,” said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Our nation has begun to recognize the many ways that understanding the shared American story shapes our present and future, and how we must continue to accelerate the important work addressing gaps in the American story. From examining the complex heritage of places like Shockoe Bottom or James Madison’s Montpelier, to the creation of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, documenting lynching, to amplifying stories of African American activism and achievement that have too long been overlooked, we must continue to reconstruct our national identity and move forward to a vision of America where all of us feel represented in the collective historical narrative.”
Following the events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, along with its philanthropic partners, launched the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a multi-year $25 million initiative to make an important and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African American activism and achievement. Through the creation of the Action Fund, the National Trust increased its programmatic efforts to preserve places of African American history and established a new grant fund for the protection and restoration of significant African American historic sites.
In July 2018, the National Trust’s Action Fund awarded more than $1 million in grants to support grassroots efforts to preserve historic sites across the country.