WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) today announced funding for 39 projects in over 20 states that will preserve and highlight the sites and stories associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the African American experience.
“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.
Congress appropriated funding for the new NPS African American Civil Rights Grant Program in 2016 through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to provide assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.
States, Tribes, local governments, and non-profit organizations, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, applied for a broad range of planning, preservation, and research projects for historic sites associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the African-American experience. The competitive grant program is funding 39 projects worth $7,750,000, including surveys, documentation, interpretation, education, oral histories, planning, and bricks and mortar preservation.
Projects receiving grants include those that will educate about and preserve resources like Rosenwald Schools across the nation, Civil Rights struggles at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Alabama and Central High School in Arkansas, women that fought for civil rights like Modjeska Simkins in South Carolina, and figures like Oscar DePriest, Emmett Till and Martin Luther King, Jr. Statewide surveys to find stories and sites that are not well known will be funded in Michigan, Rhode Island, Ohio, Maryland, Idaho, District of Columbia, California, and New York.
A 2008 National Park Service study, Civil Rights in America: A Framework for Identifying Significant Sites, served as the principal reference for determining the eligibility of proposed projects for the grant program.
SOURCE: National Park Service press release