Enrichment Arts & Culture

NPS awards grants to historic sites in underrepresented communities

A black and white photo of a cell of Joliet Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, January 1936.

Story at a glance

  • The National Parks Service distributes funding for the historic preservation of culturally and environmentally significant sites in the United States.
  • The funding is generated by revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf.
  • A fraction of the $150 million per year is reserved for Underrepresented Community Grants.

The National Parks Service (NPS) announced more than $700,000 in grants to historic sites in underrepresented communities to preserve and honor their history. 

“Through these grants to our state, Tribal, and certified local government partners, the National Register will continue to expand to help tell our nation’s diverse history,” NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge said in a release.

The money comes from the Historic Preservation Fund, which uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to give out $150 million per year in historic preservation grants to state, local and tribal governments. Of that, $4 million is earmarked for grants to underrepresented communities in order to diversify the nominations. 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

GEORGE FLOYD MURAL REPORTEDLY DESTROYED BY LIGHTNING BOLT

FAMILIES SUE AFTER THEME PARK CHARACTER FLASHES WHITE SUPREMACIST SIGN IN PICTURES

IN HISTORIC MOVE, JAMAICA WILL DEMAND REPARATIONS FROM BRITAIN OVER SLAVERY

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS REENACT GEORGE FLOYD’S MURDER WITH BLACKFACE, PRINCIPAL RESIGNS


A total of $743,531 has been awarded thus far this year to projects in more than a dozen states, including studies of the Latino community in Detroit, the LGBTQ+ community in Portland, Ore., and women’s suffrage sites in Colorado. Here are a few of the historical landmarks benefiting from the grant program: 

Edwards High School in Gonzales, Texas, which was open from the late 1800s until 1965, when it closed to avoid desegregation after the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. 

Joliet Correctional Center, a prison in Joliet, Illinois, that operated from 1858 until 2002 and was featured in several major films, including “The Blues Brothers.”


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


The Dunbar School, named after renowned African American author Paul Laurence Dunbar, was a school for Black children before desegregation; the Ulysses Cephas House, located in a neighborhood known as the “birthplace of jazz and swing,” which housed blacksmith and community leader Ulysses S. Cephas; and the Calaboose African American Museum all in San Marcos, Texas. 

Vaughn’s Bookstore in Detroit was one of the nation’s most significant publishers of black poets in 1965. 

St. Paul’s College, a historically Black college in Virginia, was founded by a formerly enslaved Episcopal priest in 1888. 

Chemehuevi Cemetery, a tribal cemetery in California, sits on land the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians was removed from in the early 1900s. It was recently returned to the tribe. 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

CULTURAL PRESSURES RUNNING HIGH AS MARTIN SCORSESE STARTS FILMING ‘KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON’

HAALAND ANNOUNCES NEW INDIGENOUS MISSING & MURDERED UNIT

NEW APP WILL SHOW YOU WHAT INDIGENOUS LAND YOU’RE ON RIGHT NOW

INDIGENOUS SHAMAN HAS A WARNING ABOUT THE AMAZON AND ALL LIFE ON EARTH

APACHES FIGHT DESPERATE LAST STAND AGAINST FOREIGN MINING GIANTS OVER SACRED LAND