Headshot of Monica Rhodes, Associate Director of HOPE Crew at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

photo by: TheArtHype

May 11, 2018

3 African American Preservationists Featured in Essence Magazine

Monica Rhodes (associate director for HOPE Crew at the National Trust), Phylicia Rashad (Tony Award-winning actress), and Helena Doley (owner of Villa Lewaro, a National Treasure) were featured in the May 2018 issue of Essence magazine. Each African American woman's personal contributions to preservation are reflected in the inspiring story by journalist Wendy L. Wilson. Read an excerpt below, and check out the full story on Essence.com.

The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF) is a $25 million multiyear initiative spearheaded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and funded by partners at the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, and others. The goal is to expand our perspective of the black experience by uncovering and improving specific locations that were once integral to our success and advancement. Leading the charge are three black women who have made preservation and conservation their personal passion projects.

Protecting a Family's Heritage

Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad is an icon. Whether it's from her days play family matriarch Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show or portraying the completely different mother hen Diana DuBois on Empire, the versatile actress has left an indelible mark on Hollywood. It is, however, her family's legacy that connects her to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which recently named her as adviser and ambassador for AACHAF.

Rashad's mother, Vivian Ayers-Allen, was born in Chester, South Carolina, and attended the Brainerd Institute school ... (read more).

This Preservation Month, let's celebrate and explore historic places, starting with one action a day through the month of May. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish!

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