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Black history preservation topic of event

Virginia African American Cultural Resources (VAACR) Task Force is hosting “Self Preservation, a Juneteenth Online Conversation” Friday, June 19, noon to 1 p.m., to discuss the state of black historic preservation in Virginia.

The live video event is open to the public, but free online registration is required at VirginiaHumanities.org/self-preservation.

Task Force founding chair and Virginia Delegate Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond) will be joined in the discussion by Dr. Colita Nichols Fairfax and Niya Bates.

A Norfolk State University professor, Fairfax is chair of Virginia Board of Historic Resources and president of Barrett-Peake Heritage Foundation in Hampton. Bates is a historic preservationist and board member of Jefferson School African American Heritage Center in Charlottesville.

VAACR Task Force champions inclusive learning, community development, and economic opportunities through black cultural landscape preservation in Virginia. It was unanimously established by the General Assembly in 2017 as a Virginia Humanities advisory group, and publicly launched in August 2018 at Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton.

“We know the protection of black lives and black history is inextricably linked,” says Justin G. Reid, event moderator and director of Community Initiatives at Virginia Humanities.

Of Virginia’s nearly 250,000 state-recorded historical sites and cultural resources, only 1 percent focuses on the experiences of African Americans. Self Preservation speakers will discuss existing challenges and the ways historic preservation can become more inclusive in Virginia and nationally.



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