PRESERVING AMERICA’S MOST HISTORIC COMMUNITIES OF COLOR!
Before and after the Civil War, free people of color and formerly enslaved African Americans left the plantations and settled in places where they established their own communities even incorporating some into independent, self governed municipalities. These early pioneers were the first African American “placemakers” in America. In every state across America, blacks settled themselves into clusters of freedmen sometimes referred to as colonies, settlements and towns. It is estimated that more than 1200 places were settled by blacks in America.
These places have not been fully accredited or recognized for their contributions to American history. Now today, we are faced with disappearing places as a result of gentrification and other compromising forces. Preserving Communities of Color is a national movement that focuses on protecting and preserving these communities and renewing them into inclusive places and cultural destinations.
Only 8% of the landmarks listed on the National Register of Historic Places represent places of color. Along with African Americans, that 8% includes Native American, Latino and Asian American. Brent Leggs, National Trust Officer
ABOUT OUR MOVEMENT
WHY WE EXIST
The contributions of African Americans in America is an undertold story. The places where blacks settled after slavery are rich in culture and heritage. Our movement consist of activities that help identify, document, promote and preserve historic places of color. We believe that these places can thrive once again if the assets, energy, capacity and love for these places at the local level can be nurtured by effective shifts in public policy, coordinated advocacy, mutual learning about what works, and careful, strategic implementation.
ABOUT OUR WORK
Through our various programs we go deeper by connecting with communities to make sure they have the tools they need to build sustainable inclusive places that also have the potential to be cultural destinations. Below are some of our current initiatives:
Community Accelerator Labs– these one day sessions offer opportunities to bring local leaders, descendants and elected officials together with potential partners. Through the accelerator events, we offer access to a network of partners that can help communities of color think through barriers and develop plans and ideas to help accelerate progress and strengthen communities.
Community Legacy Program– each year, we chose a few communities to focus our attention and help drive considerable resources to strengthen them. The Legacy Program offers an opportunity to build community and leadership capacity by working strategically alongside local leadership. By bringing in a team of consultants who offer their experience, time and knowledge to these communities, we are able to see positive impact within a considerable amount of time. This program differs from the accelerator lab as it provides an intense concentrated focus on a specific area to intentionally create direct impact that will build momentum and sustainability.
Civic Voices Studio– our Civic Voices Studio (CVS) focuses on amplifying the voices of people in communities of color. We partner with marketing experts, artists, public relations, graphic artist and digital media people to bring to life the real story of the community. Through this program, we help local leaders develop local campaigns, outreach initiatives, short term projects and other civic activities by offering web and graphic design, digital and social media solutions, event planning and on the ground media connectivity. Our CVS team will even come to your community during your event to help amplify the voices of the people involved.
2017 COMMUNITY ACCELERATOR EVENTS!
COMMUNITY ACCELERATOR LAB SCHEDULE
8/18 – Hobson City, Alabama
11/4 – Prairie View, Texas
We invite you to become a part of our growing consultant community. Consultants participate by helping in our Community Accelerator events where we bring consultant teams together with communities and leaders in one location to discuss, share and develop ideas and solutions to the most pressing issues in communities of color. Accelearator events are usually focused on a maximum of five communities at one time. We are looking for people with a background in architecture, planning, preservation, marketing, real estate and business development. Community Accelerator events are held across the country in various locations. If you would like to participate and be part of the Community Accelerator Think Tank, please sign up here.
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS TEAM
Our Young Professionals Group are a group of 20 and 30 somethings with a variety of different backgrounds, who have a common passion to join the Preserving Communities of Color movement and make a difference in these communities. Many have a personal connection to these historic places and want to use their experience, knowledge and expertise to help transform these places into inclusive communities and cultural destinations. Young Professionals Group also provide “real life” feedback to help communities plan better to help attract young families to their areas. The group is always looking for new connections, please sign up here.
We regularly host Communities of Color Partnership Luncheons to raise awareness about the importance of preserving communities of color by highlighting featured communities and the work they are doing to preserve and transform. We also, have a featured speaker or panel based on topics identified by our followers. The luncheon is open to any interested person or group. Tickets are available on this website and if there are some available seats, at the door. Your involvement with our luncheon will help provide important resources for our communities by ultimately helping us to achieve our goal of increasing awareness and providing them ongoing support. To register, please sign up here.