Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project has chance at $72,000 through senators’ support
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - U.S. Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have announced key priorities in the state for the senate fiscal year 2024 draft funding bills.
The senators worked to secure more than $111 million dollars for community projects across the Commonwealth. The grant will help the Project recover African-American history by creating a database of historic sites and burial grounds in the Shenandoah Valley.
$72,000 from that fund is reportedly secured for the draft bill in the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project. The group is ecstatic, as the money coming in would allow it to expand its reach.
The appropriations committee selects a number of projects, includes them in the bill and then passes the bill through committee.
The full Senate will look at the bill as a whole and vote on that the House will need to pass its own version of the spending bill, and both chambers will then to get together and come to an agreement on a final version of the bill.
“This will really allow us to get down below Staunton and Augusta County and into the southern parts of the Shenandoah Valley, and there’s a huge amount of history there that we haven’t been able to really get access to learn about,” Robin Lyttle said.
Lyttle says the nonprofit would also be able to provide stipends to the black communities, churches, and organizations working to educate others — telling the history of Black leaders’ contributions. This update comes alongside a partnership with the Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley, bringing $22,000 for the database.
The Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project has existed for a decade. The $72,000 grant is the most funding the nonprofit has ever received at one time.
The data and stories gathered will be used to create 14 driving history tours accompanied by video and audio interviews with Valley residents, which will be available for free online.
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