National Trust for Historic Preservation, African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund
HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative

Overview
In 2020, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, through the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund launched the HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative. In partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), this program provides technical assistance and funds the development of Cultural Heritage Stewardship Plans. The Initiative seeks to empower HBCUs with the resources to protect, preserve and leverage their historic campuses, buildings, and landscapes, ensuring these academic institutions and symbols of African American pride are preserved to inspire and educate future generations. The Initiative also seeks to encourage HBCUs to engage design and preservation students, African American architects, and professionals to grow a more diverse and equitable field of preservation practice.

In 2021, The Initiative awarded HBCU Cultural Heritage grants to eight (8) HBCUs to support preservation planning of their campuses and cultural resources. The Fitch Foundation is pleased to partner with the National Trust, African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund to complement this program with an annual commitment to provide scholarships to three (3) BIPOC students currently enrolled at the HBCUs that received a HBCU Cultural Heritage grant. The selected students will receive a $5,000 scholarship plus mentorship by Fitch Foundation Trustees.

Eligibility and Selection
Only students currently enrolled at HBCUs that have received a HBCU Cultural Heritage grant from the National Trust are eligible to apply. The Foundation and the National Trust will collaboratively review all applications and select those students whose interest in the larger field of preservation aligns with our shared commitment to creating pathways for BIPOC students to enter and succeed within historic preservation and its allied fields.

Our Commitment to the Students
The Fitch Foundation will assign up to two (2) Trustees as mentors to each student. We anticipate that the inaugural 2021 class of students may only engage with the Fitch Foundation in an all-virtual mode. That said, we are committed to providing an enriching experience and will ensure that through video conferencing and other platforms, the students feel supported and encouraged to grow. Once travel and in person meetings resume, it is the Fitch Foundation’s goal to welcome recipients of the education award to travel to NYC for an opportunity to network and expand their professional resources in the historic preservation field.

Expectations of the Students
At the culmination of their year as a mentee to the Fitch Foundation, students will be asked to reflect on their experience. The Foundation will work collaboratively with the Trust to determine what form this final deliverable may take – whether it’s a written narrative/report, a virtual presentation, a video testimonial, or other.

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Application period runs July 16, 2021, through August 23, 2021, at 6PM EST.