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Alabama Congresswomen Sewell Announces National Park Service Success

by Khubaka, Michael Harris
As we prepare to host The World Conference of Mayors, Inc., Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance to San Diego, California the blessed news as we ramp up our National Campaign for Rosa Louise McCauley Parks Day of Observance
Washington D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) announced over $3.6 million in funding from the National Park Service’s (NPS) African American Civil Rights Grant Program that is being awarded to preserve historic sites in Alabama related to Civil Rights and the African American struggle for equality.

“I am thrilled that over $3.6 million in funding from the National Park Service is being invested into Alabama to preserve the living history of the Civil Rights Movement,” said Rep. Sewell. “As the Representative of America’s Civil Rights district, I’m proud to lead the congressional effort every year to increase funding for the National Park Service Civil Rights Historic Preservation Grant Program to ensure that America’s civil rights history lives on.

This is a big win for the State of Alabama and the many Foot Soldiers and Freedom Fighters on whose shoulders we stand.”

NPS has awarded the following grants, which total $3,665,408 for historic sites in Alabama:

$500,000 to Birmingham’s Saint Paul United Methodist Church for preservation, restoration, and repair

$50,000 to the Birmingham Black Radio Museum for the permanent exhibit at the Carver Theatre

$499,799 to Auburn University for stabilization and exterior rehabilitation of the Tankersley Rosenwald School in Hope Hull

$469,500 to the Alabama Historical Commission for stabilization and preservation of the Schooner Clotilda in Mobile, the Last-known Slave Ship to Import Enslaved Africans to the United States

$500,000 to the Mount Zion Center Foundation, Inc. in Montgomery for the rehabilitation of the Mount Zion AME Zion Church Memorial Annex

$50,000 to the Alabama Historical Commission for the Freedom Rides Museum Interior Exhibit Plan in Montgomery

$50,000 to the City of Montgomery for the civil engineering of “The Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery, Alabama: The Planned Destruction of a Prosperous African American Community”

$46,588 to Auburn University for “Memory and the March: Oral Histories with Selma's Foot Soldiers”

$500,000 to the Historic Brown Chapel AME Church Preservation Society, Inc. for the preservation of Selma’s endangered Historic Brown Chapel AME Church

$500,000 to the Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church Selma AL Legacy Foundation, Inc. for critical systems and accessibility upgrades to Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church

$499,521 to the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation for rehabilitation of the Historic Sullivan Building for use as a community and culture center

“The Genesis of our success began with Congresswoman Sewell,” said Dr. Charles P. Everett, IV, President of the Mount Zion AME Center Foundation. “She provided information through grant workshops, which assisted our efforts in forming a team to work towards a successful application. We believe that when God gives you a vision, the provision will follow. We are grateful to the Congresswoman, God, and the entire Mount Zion A.M.E. Center Foundation Team.”

“The African American Civil Rights grants are critical to helping preserve and interpret a more comprehensive narrative of the people, places, and events associated with the African American Civil Rights movement,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams.

The African American Civil Rights Grant Program helps document, interpret, and preserve sites and stories related to the African American struggle to gain equal rights as citizens. The grants are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) and administered by the NPS. Grants fund a broad range of planning, development, and research projects for historic sites including: survey, inventory, documentation, interpretation, education, architectural services, historic structure reports, preservation plans, and "bricks and mortar" repair.

Established in 1977, the HPF is authorized at $150 million per year through 2023 and has provided more than $2 billion in historic preservation grants to States, Tribes, local governments, and nonprofit organizations. Administered by the NPS, HPF funds are appropriated annually by Congress to support a variety of historic preservation projects to help preserve the nation’s cultural resources.
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