Engaging Through Education: Partnering with the Steward School

Published on July 9th, 2021 by The Enrichmond Foundation

When it comes to the city of Richmond, one thing is for sure: Our history runs deep. At every turn, there are new stories to uncover, and new opportunities to appreciate just how rich the roots are for the people who make up this region. And while we’ve got countless opportunities to learn about some groups, the Black community’s history is often left out of narratives that shape the city as we know it. 

Last month, we had the honor of partnering with the Steward School to help our youth understand the history that helps make Richmond what it is today. We are proud to announce that we graduated our first cohort of students, and they’re leaving with a deeper understanding of Black history, Black culture, and the safe spaces the Black community created during the darker periods of our history. Through our partnership, and with the help of teachers and Enrichmond staff, students at the Steward School researched the many organizations that were essential to the development of our community. From a funeral director’s impact during the Civil War, discrimination during World War II, and the importance of Black fraternities, students Bella, Jayden, and Ainsley explored critical elements that shaped lives of descendant families.

“We wanted to expose our kids to Richmond, and find meaningful ways for them to learn, serve, think outside of themselves, and connect to the bigger picture of the city”

— Rashad Lowery, Campus Life and Community Stewardship Coordinator

Rashad’s goal is to help keep traditions alive, particularly the traditions that have shaped life for generations of Black Richmonders.

Thanks to the help of Rashad Lowery, teacher Jessica Conley, and Enrichmond’s Family Services Manager, Kelly Pratt, the Enrichmond Foundation has been able to highlight the importance of our community’s history and allow students to dive deep into the parts of our history that may have been overlooked.

We look forward to expanding this opportunity to many other young people interested in Richmond’s deep history, and want to not only preserve these stories, but celebrate the great collaborative spirit that existed even during our darker moments as a community. Learn more about our effort to allow students of the Steward School to think outside of the box and engage more with the community.

About Enrichmond Foundation

The Enrichmond Foundation is an umbrella 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves over 130 parks and recreation partner groups in Virginia’s Capital Region. Enrichmond’s mission is to serve the people, parks and public spaces of Richmond. For more information, visit enrichmond.org.