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Johnson C. Smith will receive a grant aimed at saving history at HBCUs

Johnson C Smith University aerial view - photo courtesy JCSU.jpg
Johnson C. Smith University
In a statement marking the Juneteenth holiday, Johnson C. Smith University’s president, Clarence Armbrister, said work to eliminate systemic racism must continue long after the media spotlight fades.

A national nonprofit organization is giving more than $650,000 in grants to help five historically Black colleges and universities preserve their campuses.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation this week announced the grants through its HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative.

Included among those chosen are two schools in North Carolina — Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte and Shaw University in Raleigh.

According to a news release, Johnson C. Smith will create a stewardship plan that will help the university restore buildings in its quad while making the space meet the community's needs.

Shaw University in Raleigh will use the funds to create a plan for preserving its 65-acre campus. The release says it will include historic building rehabilitation and address the goal of connecting the campus to downtown.

The Washington-based trust aims to help the institutions develop campus preservation plans, which it called "a roadmap for preserving and celebrating the historic and hallowed places important to their institutional legacy."

"There are 105 HBCUs across the country, and their infrastructure needs are increasingly urgent," the National Trust for Historic Preservation said in announcing the grants. "These campus-wide plans help keep legacy as an essential part of any future improvement, development, or maintenance."

The other schools receiving grants are Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina.

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