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A pilot program is underway to bring African American young professionals into historic preservation and related career paths, such as architecture and conservation, and raise awareness of the cultural legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is partnering with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew; Morgan State University (MSU) in Baltimore, Maryland; and the National Park Service’s Western Center for Historic Preservation on “Touching History: Preservation in Practice.” Six MSU architecture students spent June 11-21 training at the Center, located at White Grass Ranch in Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

World Heritage Day, the International Day for Monuments and Sites, is being celebrated today--April 18. This year’s theme is Heritage for Generations to encourage intergenerational transfer of knowledge and celebrate youth leadership in cultural heritage.

Additionally, April is National Volunteer Month and the ACHP is honoring those who volunteer their time for historic preservation.

HistoriCorps, an organization that engages volunteers in historic preservation projects on public lands throughout the U.S., was designated as a Preserve America Steward for demonstrating a successful use of volunteer time and commitment in order to help care for the nation’s historic heritage.

A volunteer effort in Colorado has brought into focus the plight of Japanese Americans during World War II. Granada High School principal John Hopper was a social studies teacher in 1993 when he and his students embarked on a mission to preserve and interpret the remains of the Granada Relocation Center, better known as Amache. The National Historic Landmark is the most intact of the 10 camps for the incarceration of Japanese Americans. More than 7,000 Japanese, mostly American citizens, were imprisoned there from 1942 to 1945.

In honor of International Youth Day, the ACHP is highlighting a Preserve America community with a unique claim to youth history: Seward, Alaska. In 1927, as the territory of Alaska considered statehood, territorial governor George Parks and the Alaska American Legion organized a contest to design a territorial flag, believing having such an emblem may help Alaska become a state. The contest was open to all Alaskan children from the 7th to 12th grades, and the ultimate winner, an Aleutian boy named Benny Benson, hailed from the Jesse Lee Home in Seward. Benson's flag was designed as an homage to Alaska's natural landscape and position as the northern-most American territory. Benson won a $1,000 scholarship in the contest, and the flag was adopted in May 1927.

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The National Park Service has announced a new grant program aimed at preserving sites of importance to the African American struggle for civil rights in the 20th century. The grants are being funded by the Historic Preservation Fund, and $7.75 million is available. Potential projects include survey and documentation, interpretation and education, oral histories, brick and mortar preservation, and more. Historically Black Colleges and Universities can apply for the grants in partnership with states, territories, federally-recognized tribes, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian organizations, or local governments. Applications are due October 14, 2016.

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