Press Release


Preservation Virginia hosting African American Historic Resources Symposium March 19

CHARLOTTESVILLE – Preservation Virginia, a private, non-profit organization and historic preservation leader based in Richmond, is hosting the African American Historic Resources Symposium March 19 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center in Charlottesville. In partnership with the Virginia General Assembly African American Cultural Resources (AACR) Task Force, Virginia Humanities, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Preservation Virginia is bringing together the Virginia Rosenwald School Network and other advocacy groups for an in-depth look at the state of Virginia’s historic African American resources.

Thousands of Rosenwald schools were built in the rural south during the Jim Crow era to provide an education for African Americans during the early 20th century. The Rosenwald school building program was conceived by Booker T. Washington and partially funded by Julius T. Rosenwald, former president of Sears, Roebuck and Company. Preservation Virginia is currently undertaking a statewide architectural survey to document the current status of the more than 360 Rosenwald schools built in Virginia with the help of local communities and alumni that are a part of the Virginia Rosenwald School Network.

“This year, we decided to expand our existing Rosenwald School Network Meeting into a symposium that explores more of Virginia’s historic African American resources,” says Justin Sarafin, director of preservation initiatives and engagement for Preservation Virginia. “Our main goal is to unite the Virginia Rosenwald School Network with community groups advocating on behalf of other historic African American resources under a much broader, more common goal to recognize, research, preserve and advocate for historic African American resources at all levels and in all sectors.”

David Givens, director of archaeology for Historic Jamestowne, will discuss ongoing archaeological work at the site relating to African American history. Such work includes the excavation of Captain William Pierce’s property where one of the first Africans who arrived in Colonial America, named “Angelo” (Angela), lived and worked.

The rest of the day will consists of panel discussions and individual sessions presented by local, regional and statewide agencies and non-profits who are engaged in work with historic African American resources, including:

  • Delegate Dolores McQuinn and the Virginia General Assembly AACR Task Force
  • One Shared Story
  • Fairfield Foundation
  • Ivy Creek Foundation
  • Pine Grove Rosenwald School

The event is currently sold-out. Those interested in attending the symposium can email to be placed on the waiting list.

This event was made possible with support from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the General Assembly African American Cultural Resources Task Force and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation.

About Preservation Virginia
Preservation Virginia is a private, non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889 that is dedicated to preserving, promoting and serving as an advocate for Virginia’s cultural and architectural history.