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Actress Phylicia Rashad Will Be Face Of $25 Million Initiative To Diversify American History

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Phylicia Rashad has managed to make a lucrative and positive career since her start on The Cosby Show and now she is adding a new title under her belt.

Rashad is now the ambassador of the African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF), a $25 million initiative aimed at preserving African American historical sites and teaching young black people about untold tidbits of black history.

The initiative is possible because of the work of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the Ford Foundation, the JPB Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations. For 70 years, the National Trust has led the way in preserving historic sites – like the Shockoe Bottom in Richmond, Virginia, and the Fort Huachuca Black Officers’ Club in Arizona – that are important to black history and in just the past five years the organization has received $10 million to do its work.

“There is an opportunity and an obligation for us to step forward boldly and ensure the preservation of places which tell the often-overlooked stories of African Americans and their many contributions to our nation,” Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, said in a news release. “We believe that this fund will be transformative for our country, and we are committed to crafting a narrative that expands our view of history and, ultimately, begins to reconstruct our national identity, while inspiring a new generation of activists to advocate for our diverse historic places.”

In addition to preservation, there will be The National Trust’s Hands-On Preservation Experience that teaches youth about black history, and there will be a research aspect to the initiative that will find links to preserving historic sites and the resolution of urban problems. Academic, arts, government and business leaders will also play a role in the fund by serving on its advisory council.

For more, watch Rashad discuss the importance of celebrating and preserving black historical narratives. 


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