Rosenwald Schools Initiative
“The Rosenwald School Building Program has been called the ‘most influential philanthropic force that came to the aid of Negroes at that time.’ It began in 1912 when Booker T. Washington approached Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck and Company, with an idea for a pilot program that was to have a dramatic impact on the face of the rural South. Washington's idea eventually led to the creation of the Julius Rosenwald Foundation. This foundation provided seed grants for the construction of more than 5,300 buildings in 15 states, including schools, shops, and teachers' houses which were built by and for African Americans.
Today many of these Rosenwald school buildings are gone, victims of changing times and communities. To heighten awareness of the threats to these historic resources, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Rosenwald Schools to its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2002. The National Trust for Historic Preservation then formed the Rosenwald Schools Initiative, calling together a task force to devise a plan for the preservation of Rosenwald schools. Through this initiative, the National Trust has established a national network of Rosenwald School preservation activists, developed educational tools, and provided funding opportunities to aid those interested in saving these important buildings.” Credit to Rosenwald Schools Initiative from the National Trust for Historic Preservation Website.
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