Phylicia Rashad is the ambassador of the African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF), a $25 million initiative launched by The National Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the Ford Foundation, the JPB Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations.
The multi-year national initiative establishes a grant fund for the protection and restoration of African American historical sites, including the Shockoe Bottom in Richmond and the Fort Huachuca Black Officers’ Club in Arizona, and to address funding gaps for site preservation. The fund will also help to tell once-hidden stories of history-making African Americans and enlighten youth on black history and landmark sites through a program called The National Trust’s Hands-On Preservation Experience. In addition, the fund will back research on the link between the impact of preserving historic sites and the resolution of urban problems that disproportionately affect communities of color.
“There is an opportunity and an obligation for us to step forward boldly and ensure the preservation of places which tell the often-overlooked stories of African Americans and their many contributions to our nation,” Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, said in a news release. “We believe that this fund will be transformative for our country, and we are committed to crafting a narrative that expands our view of history and, ultimately, begins to reconstruct our national identity, while inspiring a new generation of activists to advocate for our diverse historic places.”