Virginia Humanities has received $60,000 to continue work with a General Assembly effort to promote and preserve African American heritage in the state.

Virginia’s African American Cultural Resources Task Force, chaired by Del. Delores McQuinn, D-Richmond, promotes more inclusive cultural heritage preservation across the state. The funding is from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, which has donated a total of $2.7 million in the past two years to support grassroots preservation efforts of important sites across the country.

Virginia’s task force has spent the past year listening to partners across the state. It has sponsored four public programs on preserving and teaching African American history and culture.

In its second year, the group wants to focus on addressing “structural barriers” affecting cultural heritage preservation in Virginia, according to Justin Reid, director of African American Programs at Virginia Humanities, in a news release.

“We’re working closely with local communities and other partners, including colleges and universities, to diversify a profession that’s incredibly homogeneous,” said Reid, according to the release. “At the same time, we have to redress the systems and policies that perpetuate inequity in cultural heritage preservation. This grant will help us do that.”

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Ruth Serven Smith is a reporter for The Daily Progress. Contact her at (434) 978-7254, rserven@dailyprogress.com or @RuthServen on Twitter.

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