Historic Evergreen Cemetery Awarded National Trust Grant

Published on July 12th, 2019 by Enrichmond Foundation

African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Helps Support Restoration

RICHMOND, Va. (July 11, 2019) —

The reclamation of long-neglected Historic Evergreen Cemetery is one step closer to reality, now that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has awarded a $75,000 grant through its African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund to help launch the site’s first phase of restoration, slated to begin later this year. 

In his July 5th announcement made at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, Brent Leggs, executive director of the Action Fund, underscored the importance of Evergreen and the 21 other projects receiving awards, noting that “the recipients of this funding shine a light on once lived stories and Black culture, some familiar and some yet untold, that weave together the complex story of American history in the United States.”

Enrichmond Foundation, the owner of Evergreen, was one of 462 applicants nationwide which sought Action Fund grants this year.  Among the other sites that received the prestigious awards are Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the African Meeting House in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Harriett Tubman Home in Auburn, New York.

In his letter to Enrichmond, National Trust CEO & President Paul W. Edmondson wrote that Enrichmond’s community-based approach to preserving and restoring Evergreen “is extraordinary,” adding, “The work your organization is doing to tell the full American story is energizing and inspiring.”

“Through its Action Fund, the National Trust is helping our nation to reimagine the relationship between places, their power, and historical memory,” said Enrichmond Executive Director John Sydnor.  “We are honored to be playing a role in this national reimagination through our community-driven efforts at Evergreen,” he added.

The restoration of Evergreen is driven by a 25-member advisory team, a group that includes former state Secretary of Administration Viola O. Baskerville, Dr. Johnny Mickens III, great-grandson of Maggie L. Walker, and John Mitchell, great-great nephew of newspaper editor and civil rights leader John Mitchell, Jr. 

Last month, the site received UNESCO designation as “a site of memory associated with the Slave Route Project,” one of the first in the nation. 

The National Trust’s complete funding announcement can be found here.

Media Contact:
Viola O. Baskerville
Chair, Media Team
Historic Evergreen Cemetery Executive Planning and Review Team
Tel.: 804.690.5279
Email: vbaskerville@comcast.net

John Sydnor
Executive Director
Enrichmond Foundation
Tel.: 804.234.4984
Email: jsydnor@enrichmond.org