Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Cohen Announces more than $550,000 in Federal Grants for Civil Rights History in City of Memphis

March 13, 2018
Press Release
Funds will go towards projects for the Memphis Heritage Trail, Clayborn Temple

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) announced that the National Park Service has awarded historic preservation grants totaling $570,000 to the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development and National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States. The funds come through the NPS’s African American Civil Rights Grants Program, and will help to finance projects for the Memphis Heritage Trail and the historic Clayborn Temple.

“I am very pleased to announce that the City of Memphis is receiving $570,000 for historic preservation projects from the National Park Service,” said Congressman Cohen. “The Memphis Heritage Trail is an important American cultural and artistic landmark, and the Clayborn Temple – a hub of civil rights activity in 1968 Memphis, and starting point for daily marches to City Hall throughout the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike – is a cornerstone of civil rights history in America. These projects showcase historical and cultural assets of our city. They are ‘uniquely Memphis,’ as I said when I wrote to the National Park Service in support of this grant application in October 2017. As the nation prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King on April 4, it’s appropriate to do all that’s possible to further document and preserve the history of the Civil Rights Movement. I look forward to continue supporting important projects like these.”

The National Park Service awarded funding through the African American Civil Rights Grants Program to 51 projects in 24 states that preserve sites and highlight stories related to the African American struggle for equality in the 20th century. Congress appropriated funding for the African American Civil Rights Grants Program in 2016 through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF).

The City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development is the recipient of a $50,000 grant for projects supporting the Memphis Heritage Trail; they are also the recipient of a $500,000 grant for projects supporting the Clayborn Temple. The National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States is the recipient of a $20,000 grant for projects supporting the Clayborn Temple and the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike.

On October 5, 2017, Congressman Cohen wrote to the National Parks Service in support of the grant application from the City of Memphis for the National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights Grants Program. You can see that letter here.
 

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