African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund investing in historical sites

African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund website
African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund website(WVIR)
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 3:42 PM EDT
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ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The violence that came out of the Unite the Right rally in 2017 is sparking one organization to preserve African-American heritage.

The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is investing a $3 million into 40 African-American historical sites across the country, including one in Orange County.

“We wanted to tell a fuller American story through the Black experience,” Executive Director Brent Leggs said. “We wanted to launch as a $25 million campaign to support the preservation of 150 Black history sites. I am glad to say that in less than four years, we’ve secured more than $50 million and financial support, and we’re directing that investment in communities to help preserve and uplift the contributions of African Americans to our nation.”

Leggs started this organization after the 2017 rally in downtown Charlottesville.

“It was a moment where historic preservation was part of national discourse, and we wanted to harness the power of preservation as a tool for equity and racial justice,” Leggs said. “In many ways we were confronting the miss education of Americans.”

The Montpelier Descendants Committee is one of 40 recipients this year.

“It’s exciting that our nation is starting to understand more about itself and that the Action Fund and this investment is creating space for a broader American narrative,” Leggs said.

The overall dream for this fund is to have a $200 million endowment that can sustain this work.

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