Forum Connect

Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

  • 1.  Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Posted 06-01-2020 10:24
    Edited by Priya Chhaya 5 days ago
    Morning all.

    I wanted to take a moment to point the Forum Connect community to two different statements that the National Trust for Historic Preservation released over the weekend regarding the horrific death of George Floyd and subsequent protests, and our work and responsibility as preservationists to tell the full story.


    As your community manager, I also wanted to create a space for us to talk about how we as historic preservationists and allied fields need to change the way we practice. This is not a new conversation. It is one that has been discussed at conferences, and meetings, and in this very online community, and with that in mind I thought we could use this space to share resources, and talk about where and how we might enact change in our current practices. 

    I'm going to spend the day updating our page on inclusion (forum.savingplaces.org/inclusion) and sourcing other resources that might be helpful, but also wanted to share the following from our own archives plus another resource that I, personally, am involved with that you might consider helpful.


    Also: 

    One other note. Please remember that while this space exists for discussion, connection, and problem solving, we do have a code of conduct. If you haven't taken a look at that in while I recommend you do so before you post.

    Stay safe.

    Priya
     

    ------------------------------
    Priya Chhaya
    Associate Director, of Content
    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    Washington DC
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Posted 06-02-2020 08:57
    The joint statement on the Decatur House was one the most eloquent statements on the preservation of difficult history I've encountered. Notably brief, it said volumes by minimizing words. I hope that NTHP and WHHA can demonstrate further boldness by not removing the graffiti - at least for now. Keep it - for now - and protect it from retaliatory response and politicization. In a few months harness its power to engage communities of color in dialogue about preservation and this new chapter of history. At that time, let the affected communities decide whether it stays or goes.

    ------------------------------
    Shawn Evans
    Santa Fe NM
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Posted 06-02-2020 11:25
    Hi Priya,

    Thank you for starting this thread, which is very important. I'll contribute a list of blog posts, videos, popular press items, books, journal articles, and book chapters that people here may find useful. Please note that if anyone has difficulty getting a journal article or book chapter (because you are not an academic and it's behind a paywall) please directly message me and I'll provide you a copy. Hope this is helpful. -Jeremy

    (Note: where a link is provided, you can go directly to the item mentioned to view/read in its full content.)

    Blogs






    Videos (YouTube)


    Andrea Roberts, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning (Texas A&M) presenting on "preservation apartheid" in "Curating Freedom: Making Hidden Black Publics Visible with Descendant Communities."

    "La Gloria" video (produced by the Esperanza Center) in which the destruction of Latinx heritage is described as a kind of "cultural genocide" (this is very, very powerful and sobering video)


    Popular press


    Books

    Avrami, E. (ed.). (2020). Preservation and social inclusion. Columbia University Press.

    Crawford-Lackey, K. & M. E. Springate (Eds.) (2019). Preservation and place: Historic preservation by and of LGBTQ communities in the United States. Berghahn Books.

    Kaufman, N. (2009). Place, race, and story: Essays on the past and future of historic preservation. New York: Routledge.

    King, T. (2009). Our unprotected heritage: Whitewashing the destruction of our cultural and natural environment. Left Coast Press.

    Silverman, H. & D.F. Ruggles. (2008). Cultural heritage and human rights. Singapore: Springer.

    Smith, L. (2006). Uses of heritage. Routledge.

    Sully, D. (2016). Decolonizing conservation: Caring for Maori meeting houses outside New Zealand. Routledge.

    Tunbridge, J.E.,  & G.J. Ashworth. (1997). Dissonant heritage: The management of the past as a resource in conflict. Chichester: J. Wiley.

    University/NGO reports

    Bashforth, M. (2015). How should heritage decisions be made? University of Leeds. (link is to a PDF)

    Journal articles and book chapters

    Buckley, J. M., & Graves, D. (2016). Tangible benefits from intangible resources: Using social and cultural history to plan neighborhood futures. Journal of the American Planning Association, 82(2), 152–166.

    Gibson, J., Hendricks, M., & Wells, J. C. (2019). From engagement to empowerment: How heritage professionals can incorporate participatory methods in disaster recovery to better serve socially vulnerable groups. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 25(6), 596–610.

    Hurt, D. A. (2010). Reinterpreting the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site. The Geographical Review, 100(3), 375–393.

    Hutchings, R. M., & La Salle, M. (2017). Archaeology as state heritage crimeArchaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress, 13(1), 66–87.

    La Salle, M., & Hutchings, R. M. (2018). "What could be more reasonable?" Collaboration in colonial contexts. In A. M. Labrador & N. A. Silberman (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Public Heritage Theory and Practice (pp. 223–237). Oxford University Press.

    Lau-Ozawa, K. (2019). Dissonant memories of Japanese American incarceration. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 25(7), 656-670.

    Magalong, M. G., & Mabalon, D. B. (2016). Cultural preservation policy and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Reimagining historic preservation in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. AAPI Nexus: Policy, Practice and Community, 14(2), 105–116.

    Milholland, S. (2010). In the eyes of the beholder: Understanding and resolving incompatible ideologies and languages in US environmental and cultural laws in relationship to Navajo sacred lands. American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 34(2), 103–124.

    Obafemi, O. (2017). Against the reception of Eurocentric heritage theories on non-Western cultures: A case of pre/post colonisation in Nigeria. In J. Rodrigues dos Santos (Ed.), Preserving transcultural heritage: Your way or my way? (pp. 953–963). Caleidoscópio.

    Phelps, J. R., & Owley, J. (2019). Etched in stone: Historic preservation law and confederate monumentsFlorida Law Review, 71(3), 627–688.

    Roberts, A. R. (2019). "Until the Lord come get me, burn it down, or the next storm blow it away": The aesthetics of freedom in African American vernacular homestead preservation. Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, 26(2), 73–97.

    Rotenstein, D. S. (2018). Producing and protesting invisibility in Silver Spring, Maryland. In N. Wuertenberg & W. Horne (Eds.), Demand the impossible: Essays in history as activism (pp. 89–111). Westphalia Press.

    Rowe, M.J., Finley, J.B., and Baldwin, E. (2018). Accountability or merely "good words"? An analysis of tribal consultation under the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. Arizona Journal of Environmental Law and Policy 8(2).

    Smith, L., & Waterton, E. (2012). Constrained by commonsense: The authorized heritage discourse in contemporary debates. In R. Skeates, C. McDavid, & J. Carman (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of public archaeology (pp. 153–171). Oxford University Press.

    Taylor, J. (231 C.E.). "We're on fire": Oral history and the preservation, commemoration, and rebirth of Mississippi's Civil Rights sites. Oral History Review, 42(2), 2015.

    Wellman, J. (2002). The Underground Railroad and the National Register of Historic Places: Historical importance vs. Architectural integrity. The Public Historian, 24(1), 11–30.

    Wells, J. C. (2007). The plurality of truth in culture, context, and heritage: A post-structuralist analysis of urban conservation charters. City and Time, 3(2), 1–14.

    Wells, J. C. (2015). In stakeholders we trust: Changing the ontological and epistemological orientation of built heritage assessment through participatory action research. In B. Szmygin (Ed.), How to assess built heritage? Assumptions, methodologies, examples of heritage assessment systems (pp. 215–265). Romualdo Del Bianco Foundatione & Lublin University of Technology and ICOMOS Committee for Theory and Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration.

    Wells, J. C., Hirsch, A., Grimaldi, B. M., Pooley, K. B., & Sutherland, E. M. (2016). Latin Americans and heritage values in Allentown's 7th Street corridor. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 33(3), 181–198.

    Wells, J. C., Silva, A. P., Araujo, L., Azevedo, G., Barros, A., Lins, M. E., Ferreira, E., Guerra, A., de Abreu e Lima, V., Moura, A. I., & Tenorio, G. (2020). Empowering communities to identify, treat, and protect their heritage: A cultural landscape case study of the Horto d'El Rey, Olinda, Brazil. In K. Fouseki, T. S. Guttormsen, & G. Swensen (Eds.), Heritage and sustainable urban transformations: Deep cities (pp. 185–207). Routledge.








  • 4.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Posted 06-04-2020 22:13
    Edited by Jeremy Wells 06-04-2020 22:14
    Out of all the people here on this forum, surely someone else other than @Priya Chhaya, @Shawn Evans, and I have resources to share that address/discuss preservation, social justice, and inclusion? The silence is uncomfortable, to say the least, given the broader discussion and what's happening in the world today. How can we help each other to make this little corner of the world more just? This is important. Please share.



    ------------------------------
    Jeremy Wells, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
    pronouns: he/his/him
    Historic Preservation Program, School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, University of Maryland, College Park
    http://www.heritagestudies.org
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Posted 06-05-2020 07:22
    As a member of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, I am sharing its statement in response to the recent demonstrations as an example of a resource.

    My inbox had been filled with statements from my profession (librarianship) and also from local organizations. The majority of the statements express platitudes with no means of accountability or action. PBN was an exception. What I found refreshing and meaningful about the PBN statement is that it is clear on what can be done because preservation is about people. From the statement: " PBN believes that historic preservation has an important role to play in helping to bridge inequalities and build understanding within our community."

    What the staff and board of PBN does is listen. They are not afraid to reach out, and listen first, ask questions later, and rarely, barely lecture.

    Buffalo falls on some pretty unflattering scales: third or fifth poorest city depending on the measure, most segregated, continually shrinking, and has a mayor who put forth a strategy to demolish 5000 structures in five years.  I will not even address the political corruption and citizen cynicism that plagues this city-- and no, it is not like that everywhere cynics.  Buffalo's environment makes for preservation of neighborhoods and architecture a tough task.  But we in Buffalo and the western New York State region are fortunate to have fearless preservation leaders who reach out to communities and allow those communities to direct their own path as they understand the benefits of historic preservation.

    Jessie Fisher and the staff of PBN and Tim Tielman of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo are our resources who advocate, educate, assist, and connect communities to the role and benefits of historic preservation.  Preservation leaders then emerge in the communities.  Preservation, social justice, inclusion-- it all starts and ends with people.

    Lorna Peterson, Buffalo
    retired individual





  • 6.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Posted 06-22-2020 09:03
    Just in case anyone missed it. @Laurie Sommers just posted a link to a training between UVA and the Vernacular Architecture Forum. Details are in the June Events list but there is also this link about the program which is to increase documentation of sites that have been ingored.

    https://news.virginia.edu/content/architectural-history-fieldwork-project-seeks-find-suppressed-and-erased-histories​

    ------------------------------
    Priya Chhaya
    Associate Director, of Content
    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    Washington DC
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Posted 06-24-2020 17:18
    Like many of you, I've been thinking a lot about where we are as a field, how we got here, and the road ahead in the wake of the last few weeks. I'm sure that many of you feel too that this time, there is no going back to business as usual.  There can't be.

    I started a Preservation Forum blog post pitch on some of my thinking about this a few weeks ago, and as I started to write, two paragraphs quickly became twelve paragraphs. The post went up last week here.  It's titled Preservation's Existential Crisis.  I think many blog subscribers got it, but if you didn't, I thought I'd link to it in case it's helpful as we think and share together about how to make the field that we love more just.  Thoughts and conversation welcome.


    All best,
    Marisa Brown   


    --
    Marisa Angell Brown, PhD  |  Assistant Director for Programs
    John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities  |  Brown University
    P 401.863.6277 office / 401.996.3699 cell






  • 8.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Posted 06-05-2020 08:31
    Last year I began teaching a course in Goucher College's Masters in Historic Preservation program. The course is titled, "Ethnography and Community Engagement for Historic Preservation." The impetus for the course came from my work in gentrifying communities where African American bodies and history are being erased. The two communities I studied were Silver Spring, Maryland, and Decatur, Georgia. My work on erasure in Decatur and its ties to historic preservation was published last year in a special issue of the Journal of American Folklore dedicated to historic preservation: "The Decatur Plan: Folklore, Historic Preservation, and the Black Experience in Gentrifying Spaces," Journal of American Folklore, vol. 132, no. 526 (Fall 2019), pp. 431-451. The University of Illinois Press also published an online multi-media page tied to the article: https://jaf.press.uillinois.edu/526/. Some of my work on Silver Spring has appeared in several places, including this chapter, "Producing and Protesting Invisibility in Silver Spring, Maryland." In, Demand the Impossible: Essays in History as Activism, edited by Nathan Wuertenberg and William Horne, 89–111. Washington, D.C.: Westphalia Press, 2018.

    I decided to pitch the course to Goucher after doing many interviews with Black residents of gentrifying neighborhoods where historic preservation is implicated in erasure. An overview of some of the reactions I experienced appeared in the NCPH blog, History@Work: "Competing histories or hidden transcripts? The sources we use." That post includes this passage:

    In Silver Spring, Maryland, residents of a historically Black neighborhood created a history exhibit in a county-run community center. The exhibit debuted about a decade ago after the local historic preservation organization produced a documentary and published books that omitted African American history and the contemporary community. "We don't exist to them," one lifelong resident told me in a 2018 interview.

    The woman I quoted in the post wasn't the only person in that community to describe how her community was rendered invisible, tokenized, and marginalized by the State Historic Preservation Office, county planning department's historic preservation office, and the local historical society. We as a profession have a long way to go before our words catch up to reality. In May 2017 I stood on a stage before an audience of more than 300 people and shocked the crowd gathered for a social justice organization's annual gala by saying, "My name is David Rotenstein. I am a historian and I am a racist." I then proceeded to explain why I considered myself a racist (being born white in America and enjoying all of the privileges attached to it) and why I always will be a racist despite my anti-racism work. Like alcoholism, racism is an incurable condition that can only be managed by daily intentional efforts to manage it.

    We as historic preservationists have hard work ahead of us that involves repairing decades of work that put folks like my friends in Silver Spring in the position where they felt invisible and erased by our field. We need to shed Jane Jacobs as our activism model and embrace people like Ibram X. Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, and Ta-Nehisi Coates as our new guides towards doing the type of people- and values-centered historic preservation work our literature has been calling for these past few years.

    Regards,

    David
    _________________________________________
    David S. Rotenstein, Ph.D.
    Historian/Folklorist | Adjunct, Goucher College Master's in Historic Preservation Program
    david.rotenstein@earthlink.net
    Phone: (412) 328-3830






  • 9.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Ambassador
    Posted 06-05-2020 18:17
    Hi David,
    It is a pleasure to be able to read your insightful experience and comments on racism that you shared at the event in 2017. In an effort to better understand your discussion on this matter in a more profound way, can you please elaborate on your statement that you "will always be a racist despite [your] anti-racism work?

    My understanding is that when you said that you considered yourself a racist because of "being born white in America and enjoying all of the privileges attached to it," you were not describing explicit racism ("or racism that is a conscious choice to actively hate or discriminate someone of another race" 1), but rather, racism complicity (or "to consciously or unconsciously support, contribute or benefit from racism or racist systems 2 ). However, based on my understanding of which racism you are referring to, I may have misunderstood what you meant when you said that you "always will be a racist despite [your] anti-racism work. [Because] racism is an incurable condition that can only be managed by daily intentional efforts to manage it." My question, based on your insight provided, is why do you feel being a racist is inescapable? I ask because, in my sense of confusion, it seems that you are cancelling out your agency. Although it appears that you have agency to identify your privilege and racial complicity, your description of "incurable racism" seems to subtract that same agency in challenging racism complacency (or "to support racism and racist systems by not challenging it" 3). Can you please share more insight on the nuances of your experience as a historian/researcher, and how you navigate your agency at the nexus of racism complicity and complacency in this position within the larger system of oppression?

    Also, could you further discuss the difference between Jane Jacobs' approaches to, and definitions of, community, the built environment, race, racial inequality, and social justice, and Ibram X. Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, and Ta-Nehisi Coates' approaches to, and definitions of, these concepts? In this way, I think, we will be better able to navigate and discuss why the shift in activism models needs to happen, particularly where it needs to happen, and in what ways the shift needs to be operationalized.

    My request for clarity on these subjects is because I feel that it is imperative to focus just as much on how we frame the conversation as we do on what we say. Giving diligent clarity allows for correct feedback and security to have productive and change-making conversations regarding the way forward in Preservation.

    1. The Responsible Consumer, https://theresponsibleconsumer.wordpress.com/systemic-implicit-microaggression-racism/.

     2. Ibid.

    3. Ibid.

    ------------------------------
    Jamesha Gibson
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Posted 06-06-2020 06:26

    Thank you, Jamesha, for your detailed and thoughtful relpy to my post. Briefly, in response to the questions you asked, 

    (1) My question, based on your insight provided, is why do you feel being a racist is inescapable? I ask because, in my sense of confusion, it seems that you are cancelling out your agency.

     Rather than stumble over trying to answer, I'll let a more eloquent scholar explain. Though Robin DiAngelo has done many interviews since her White Fragility was published, I really like this brief interview she recently did with the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart: "The Author of 'White Fragility' Doesn't Think 'Most White People Care about Racial Injustice.'" Cape Up. https://www.washingtonpost.com/podcasts/cape-up/the-author-of-white-fragility-doesnt-think-most-white-people-care-about-racial-injustice/

    (2) Can you please share more insight on the nuances of your experience as a historian/researcher, and how you navigate your agency at the nexus of racism complicity and complacency in this position within the larger system of oppression?

     My work and experiences aren't really "nuanced." They're pretty blunt and tend to anger lots of folks. In 2011 I began writing about racism, displacement, and gentrification in Decatur, Georgia. The fragile white residents there who wear their liberal and progressive credentials on their sleeves weren't going to stand for someone challenging them and their community's brand/image (see https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/decatur-georgia-diversity-initiatives-fail-gentrification-equity). They responded violently (see https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/160914). I don't like being bullied, especially by racists (of all positions along the spectrum), and I began speaking and writing about the harmful intersection of erasing Black bodies (gentrification/displacement) and erasing/silencing Black history, especially where my profession has been involved in the erasure by producing books, articles, films, exhibits, etc. that celebrate white supremacy and omit and minimize the Black experience. In some of the public programs I do I like to quote David Billings, author of the 2016 book Deep Denial

    "In 1985 a group of us in New Orleans associated with the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond met to take on Ron Chisom's Challenging Question: 'How many of you (whites) have ever spoken out against racism with no people of color around? How many of you think you could organize 100 whites to speak out against racism? ... 50? ... 20?'"

    I am speaking to whites against racism. It's been a learning process and I have made lots of mistakes along the way. When I began working with gentrification and displacement, it was accidental and it took me several years to go beyond my training in history, folklore and folklife, etc. There was urgency in my early work because people in Decatur were being racially profiled and harassed by the police (see https://ncph.org/history-at-work/racial-profiling-historical-relevance/), irreplaceable Black history sites were being demolished, and people were losing their homes to predatory real estate speculators. The same was true in subsequent years in Silver Spring: there were plans underway that were going to exacerbate earlier harms inflicted by systemic racism.

    There were modest gains in both communities in terms of awareness (see https://mont.thesentinel.com/2019/02/14/navarro-requests-name-change-for-middle-school/), but until we find a cure for white fragility, they likely won't be sustainable. The book I'm writing on gentrification and displacement in Decatur draws heavily on the follow-up comparative research that I did in Silver Spring. Ultimately, very little distinguishes one community from the other, from the ways that historic preservation has perpetuated white supremacy to the gentrification pressures each community is facing to the efforts each community is making to mitigate the damage to their images after the deeply entrenched systemic racism has been exposed.


    (3) Discuss the difference between Jane Jacobs' approaches to, and definitions of, community, the built environment, race, racial inequality, and social justice, and Ibram X. Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, and Ta-Nehisi Coates' approaches to, and definitions of, these concepts?

     That would require a lot more space and footnotes than an email response. Geographers and sociologists are challenging Jacobs and her urbanism. She had a lot of things right by pairing her discussions of the built environment with the people who lived, worked, and played in the spaces. I think a more holistic approach that begins with the uncomfortable premise to many whites is that we need to change our paradigm to be more truthful with how racism-capitalism and anti-Black hate are so fundamental to the society we've constructed. Once we overcome those and the related issues of equitable housing, healthcare, education, policing, etc., then we can talk about better cities, etc.

     Thank you, again, for you thoughtful comments.

     Regards,

    David

    _________________________________________

    David S. Rotenstein, Ph.D.
    Historian/Folklorist | Adjunct, Goucher College Master's in Historic Preservation Program
    david.rotenstein@earthlink.net
    Phone: (412) 328-3830






  • 11.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Ambassador
    Posted 06-08-2020 08:48
    Hi David,
    Thank you for taking time to answer my questions and for sharing these additional resources.

    ------------------------------
    Jamesha Gibson
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Posted 06-05-2020 15:15

    Good afternoon. If I were subscribed to this with a personal email, I would be responding there. While my employer allows me a latitude to speak somewhat freely, I want to emphasize that I am generally speaking for myself.

     

    I have struggled to figure out how preservation can play a role in this ongoing evolution of public response to the systemic racism of American life. Public historians seem to be in a better position to be able to respond and connect with these stories of systemic oppression upon anyone that is not white and European in background. Historic preservationists, being rooted in large part in regulatory authority, are "inside the machine" and may have a more difficult time finding a route out to speak on this topic. The field, even as it is perceived as young and grassroots, is now starting to become moldy and moribund. Making major shifts are difficult. Even if we broaden our scope to museums and we have someone like Vagnone to speak for the changes necessary, we are still dealing with a field that is struggling to adapt. We were having a hard enough adapting because of a global pandemic, so how can we quickly adjust to 400 plus years of systemic racism and oppression?

     

    The only method I can see for change within the system (i.e. responsive and inclusive to the diverse stories of history as they impact the cultural landscape) is to start a process at the top levels – ACHP, NPS. And in today's political landscape I'm not sure I see that happening. We must pressure these institutions as the gatekeepers to the "rules" of preservation. I believe there is a possible route that moves from the grassroots to change our systems, but it may take another 20 to 40 years and will require rebuilding the system completely. Neither will be easy, but nothing worth doing is easy, right?

     

    As a middle aged, white, male I have felt that my role in the many changes - #metoo, BLM, etc – has been one of listener. I have to understand my biases and how they manifest. (I really like this list of racial macroaggressions as a way to check myself before writing or saying something: https://www.sph.umn.edu/site/docs/hewg/microaggressions.pdf) Raised in a white community, attending school in white communities, living now in a majority white community (even in a majority African American county) has kept me isolated in many ways. But I have had two experiences which have helped me see that while I can keep my voice muted, I can be effective in how I support and change the systems.

     

    First, I was given the great opportunity to be a mentor to a diversity scholar at a NTHP conference a few years ago. This young professional was working her way into landscape preservation. You could see she was energized by the topic. But she brought to light my inherent benefits by being white. Her parents expected her to go into medicine. She didn't have the passion. So she managed to get them to agree to biology. Then she managed to shift to environmental science. Then she shifted to landscape architecture. At least her parents could see it was a money earning field. My parents, blue collar, working class people, may have made a quick question about my plans for pursuing a degree in historic preservation but they never spoke against it. They never said I needed to earn more money or choose something that is mainstream. I was free to choose whatever path I wanted. Why? Because as a white man I would be able to make something no matter my degree or interest. As a black woman, she would be limited in her choices and needed to choose something that would get her the furthest possible. I realized we needed a process to get diverse voices into the field and that starts with changing the perception of the academic accessibility. Morgan's program is good start and I'd love to help expand it to other HBCUs. But we need our other academic institutions be more inclusive. Maybe COVID will be a big change maker for this issue. Students should feel good about entering historic preservation and not stigmatized.  

     

    Secondly, during a meeting of heritage area directors, a participant stood up and criticized us for not giving more grants to African American groups. I was incensed. How could we be accused of this when no one applies for these grants? And, of course, that is the crux of the issue. The organizations don't have the resources and capacity. They are operating on much thinner margins than white led organizations. They can't even afford to apply for funding – you need money to get money. I found that the best way to use my influence and power as a white male was to seek ways to change the system internally and support those organizations that needed to get out of the cycle.

     

    I have tried hard to bring stories out from communities with a knee on their neck. We are thrilled that projects that highlight civil rights and Jim Crow's impact we be moving forward out of our granting mechanisms. We are building and revising partnerships with African American and Latinx groups to make sure they have access to our work and programs. We are meeting directly and asking what they want – not directing them to follow our rules before we can grant access.

     

    So if I can offer one consideration, I would simply suggest that we  (and I guess I mean white preservationists) take a moment and look at our systems that are in place. Are we open? Do we understand that preservationists, particularly white ones, are often seen as gatekeepers and not partners? If we can do nothing else in the coming weeks, months, and years we must continue to pressure those that oversee the internal controls of the white biased regulatory system to change and not just be more inclusive, but to work toward being unbiased.

     

    Be well. Be safe. Do what you can, where you can.

     

    Aaron Marcavitch

     






  • 13.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Posted 06-25-2020 16:33
    We at Indow, a Portland, OR - based company, make and sell window inserts. We have collaborated with historic preservationists, place savers, and creative storytellers to show our customers the importance of low-impact restorations to their homes and commercial buildings.

    Our CEO and Founder Sam Pardue's BLM statement emphasizes our role in Portland as a company located within the Albina district, a historically Black neighborhood and area of Civil Rights Movement organizing.

    Although we are a window insert company, we have recognized our intersectional role in climate change, environmental racism, historic preservation, and more as a means to practice anti-oppressive frameworks and strengthen our community (including our staff).

    We began internal conversations on how to practice direct action along with external initiatives such as our #ACTIVATEYOURWINDOW and our #BLACKHISTORYSITE campaigns.

    🖤#ACTIVATEYOURWINDOW  🖤 - An opportunity for the Portland community to show up for marginalized folks during the pandemic.
     🖤 #BLACKHISTORYSITE  🖤 - An opportunity for Indow to research Portland Black history sites, learn about our community, and empower others to join us.

    We also are reaching out to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color creatives who are place savers, historic preservationists, artists, and architects to collaborate via interviews, sharing their work, and highlighting their work via asking them to submit to our 🖤 Window Zine 2020  🖤(where you are all welcomed to submit).

    If you're interested in collaborating or have questions/concerns or would like to talk more, please feel free to email me at lillyanne@indowwindows.com

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    Lillyanne Pham
    Community Engagement Intern
    Indow
    Portland OR
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  • 14.  RE: Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More)

    Posted 07-17-2020 11:37
    The Texas Freedom Colonies Project Social Justice & Inclusion in Historic Preservation
    Here is a new reading list we have made available to our followers and researchers.

    Best,
    Andrea R. Roberts, PhD
     
    ​ 


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    Andrea Roberts
    Bryan TX
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