Our Commitment to Legacy in 2021

Published on January 7th, 2021 by The Enrichmond Foundation

Across the nation, the start of a new year sparks a period of reflection. We reflect upon achievements of the previous year, set goals for the new year, and establish intentions that guide us in everything we do. For the Enrichmond Foundation, 2021 sparks us to reflect on our mission and the great responsibility we carry as we live it out. And as we explore new, impactful ways to continue serving the people, parks, and public spaces, one word comes to mind: Legacy. 

The year 2021 is all about legacy. Preserving it, establishing it, celebrating it. We have the great responsibility of protecting and preserving the Historic Evergreen and East End Cemeteries, and with each new day of restoring the sites and each new volunteer who joins us, we’re reminded of just how rich this city’s legacy is. Thousands of Black men and women rest in these sites, people who have overcome incredible odds to leave a legacy their family members and all Richmonders can be proud of. These greats are history makers who have fought in wars, prevailed in the face of oppressive systems, and shared stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. Enrichmond Foundation’s duty is to tell those stories. As we continue to clear areas of the cemeteries, we’re committed to learning about the greats who rest there and reconnecting them with their descendents in an effort to celebrate their legacy. 

In 2021, look forward to our legacy of expansion. We’re expanding the work our AmeriCorps team began last month and are opening up new areas of the cemeteries. Clearing more land means strengthening our family research efforts, reconnecting more families to their loved ones, and building a robust library that allows the public to learn about the greats who rest on this land. The public can expect more in depth interviews with community leaders and deeper discussions on what drives this important work. We’re establishing a legacy of honoring the Black men and women who’ve sacrificed so much, and we are committed to keeping their memory alive. 

With TreeLab, we’re building a legacy of beautifying and improving the city of Richmond. We understand that human and environmental health are intertwined, and as we invest in nature, we’re investing in the health of generations to come. In 2021, TreeLab will continue our efforts to improve our urban environments through tree planting, educating the public on its importance and assisting citizens and nonprofits as they start beautification projects in their own community. With our funding, we plan to lead more community planting and greening events, working with schools and organizations across the region. It’s our hope that our efforts will not only be seen through our physical planting but also felt through improved health and the spirit of collaboration with all who join our mission.

It is our privilege to continue collaborating with community organizations on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. On January 18, 2021, we invite you to join us on Facebook for the virtual broadcast of our annual volunteer event. This day not only honors Dr. King’s legacy of fueling radical change in our nation, but it’s also our opportunity to take action to preserve that legacy. We don’t take lightly our responsibility to our city, and hear very clearly how we can improve to better show our commitment to the historic sites in our care. On this Day of Service, we’ll be joined by the Sigma Delta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. for a day of socially-distant community service and conversation about the importance of preserving MLK’s legacy as we create our own.

The Enrichmond Foundation thanks you for your continued support of our mission, and vows to keep the word “legacy” as our North Star in everything we do. We wish you all a prosperous new year.