Historically Black Colleges and Universities are cornerstones of culture, and the National Park Service is advancing its preservation efforts to ensure historic spaces that stand on HBCU campuses are conserved. The agency announced it’s awarding $9.7 million in grants to preservation projects at historically Black institutions.
The multi-million dollar endowment initiative will support 21 projects across nine states. The funds will aid in the physical restoration of structures that are included or eligible to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The grants will also directly support campus conservation plans, pre-preservation studies, architectural projects, and historic structure reports.
Among the spaces that will be preserved through this round of endowments include Dinkins Memorial Hall at Selma University, North Carolina A&T State University’s World War Memorial Stadium—which is North Carolina’s oldest minor-league baseball field—and Washington Hall at Mississippi Industrial College.
Chuck Sams, who serves as director of the National Park Service, says it’s imperative to preserve these structures as they’re embedded in the fabric of American history. “For more than 180 years, historically Black colleges and universities have provided high-level academics, opportunities, and community for generations of students,” he shared in a statement. “These grants enable HBCUs to preserve the noteworthy structures that honor the past and tell the ongoing story of these historic institutions.” To date, the NPS has awarded $87 million in endowments to over 85 historically Black colleges and universities throughout the country through the Historic Preservation Fund.
News about the HBCU grants comes months after the NPS unveiled plans to allocate over $16 million to create African American Civil Rights grants. The endowments helped fund 44 projects across 15 states that have a collective mission of rehabilitating and protecting spaces that served as backdrops of the civil rights movement.