National Park Service Announces Grants to AL Civil Rights Sites
Washington, D.C. – On Monday, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service (NPS) announced $12.6 million in grants for 51 projects in 24 states that preserves African American civil rights historic sites. Nine sites in Alabama will receive funding, including Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, the 16th St. Baptist Church, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Mt. Zion A.M.E. Zion Church Memorial Annex, the Perry County Jailhouse, the City of Montgomery, the Freedom Rides Museum, and the University of North Alabama.
“I am beyond thrilled that the $13 million we worked hard to get into the National Parks Service budget last year will help to protect historic sites in Alabama’s 7th Congressional District,” said Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL). “National treasures like the Mt. Zion A.M.E. Zion Church and the Perry County Jailhouse tell the story of racial injustice in America and the fight for freedom and equality. This month, I joined Rep. John Lewis in leading a pilgrimage to historic civil rights sites in Alabama, bringing nearly 30 members of Congress to walk in the footsteps of heroes like Amelia Boynton Robinson and Dr. Martin Luther King. We must keep that experience and the history of the civil rights movement alive for future generations. These sites are critical to understanding our painful past and serve as an inspiration in today’s fight for justice.”
“We’re excited and elated about this grant opportunity, it helps us continue to preserve this historic treasure and share Birmingham’s story with the World,” said Pastor Arthur Price Jr. of the 16th St. Baptist Church. “I’d like to thank Congresswoman Sewell, The National Park Service and Dr. Neal Berte for making sure that we continue to stay on sound footing.”
“When God gives a vision, provision always follows,” said Mr. Charles P. Everett IV of the Mt. Zion A.M.E. Zion Church. “We are thankful and excited to have been awarded the African American preservation grant from the Department of Interior, through the National Park Service. We are extremely thankful for the support and advocacy of our Congresswoman, Terri Sewell. She has been an advocate for us since the beginning of our grant writing process that started over 3 years ago. We are fired up and ready to continue preservation efforts at the historic, Mt. Zion A.M.E. Zion Church Memorial Annex.”
Rep. Sewell passed an amendment in the FY16 budget increasing funding for the Department of the Interior’s efforts to preserve civil rights sites. During consideration of the FY17 budget, Rep. Sewell wrote to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, urging them to invest in the Department of the Interior’s Civil Rights Initiative.
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) is serving her fourth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional district. She sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was recently appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Sewell is a Chief Deputy Whip and serves on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee of the Democratic Caucus. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, and Vice Chair of Outreach for the New Democrat Coalition.