Terri Sewell announces $3.6 million in funding to preserve civil rights sites

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representing Terri Sewell announced funding of over $3.6 million from the African American National Park Service (NPS) Civil Rights Grant Program which is awarded to preserve historic sites in Alabama related to civil rights and the African-American struggle for equality.

“I am thrilled that more than $3.6 million in National Park Service funding is being invested in Alabama to preserve the living history of the civil rights movement,” Sewell said. “As a representative of the U.S. Civil Rights District, I am proud to lead the Congressional effort each year to increase funding for the National Park Service’s Civil Rights Historic Preservation Grant Program to ensure the longevity of the he history of civil rights in the United States is a great victory for the State of Alabama and the many foot soldiers and freedom fighters on whose shoulders we stand.

According to Sewell’s press release, the grant program helps document, interpret and preserve sites and stories related to the struggle of African Americans to gain equal rights as citizens. The grants are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) and administered by the NPS. Established in 1977, the HPF is authorized $150 million annually through 2023 and has provided more than $2 billion in historic preservation grants to states, tribes, local governments and nonprofits. Administered by the NPS, HPF funds are appropriated annually by Congress to support various historic preservation projects to help preserve the nation’s cultural resources.

dr. Charles P. Everett IV, President of the Mount Zion AME Center Foundation, praised Sewell’s efforts to secure the funding.

“The genesis of our success began with Congresswoman Sewell,” Everett said. “She provided insight through grant workshops, which helped our efforts to form a team to work towards a successful application. We believe that when God gives you a vision, provision will follow. We are grateful to the Congresswoman, to God, and to the entire team at the Mount Zion AME Center Foundation.

the National Park Service awarded the following grants, totaling $3,665,408, for the following historic sites in Alabama:

  • $500,000 to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Birmingham for preservation, restoration and repair
  • $50,000 at the Birmingham Black Radio Museum for the permanent exhibition at the Carver Theater
  • $499,799 to Auburn University for the stabilization and exterior rehabilitation of Tankersley Rosenwald School in Hope Hull
  • $469,500 to the Alabama Historical Commission for the Stabilization and Preservation of the Clotilda schooner 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 Memorial Annex AME Zion Church
  • $50,000 to the Alabama Historical Commission for the interior exhibit plan of the Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery
  • $50,000 to the City of Montgomery for Civil Engineering from “The Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery, Alabama: The Planned Destruction of a Prosperous African American Community”
  • $46,588 at 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 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 and Reconciliation for the rehabilitation of the historic Sullivan Building for use as a community and cultural center

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