December 9, 2016
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"Bloody Sunday" Leaders Reunite At Parks Gala


 

WASHINGTON  – Black Georgia Representative John Lewis and veteran civil rights attorney Fred Gray, both highly regarded for their influential roles in the historic “Bloody Sunday” of March 7, 1965 will join fellow civil rights activists and national park enthusiasts tonight to show their unwavering support for the preservation of national parks and historic sites such as the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail that tell the legendary stories of African American history and culture.

 

The annual gala event, hosted by the African American Experience Fund (AAEF) of the National Park Foundation (NPF), the Congressionally chartered non-profit partner of America’s National Parks, serves to raise funds to preserve and promote national historic sites that educate the public about the rich heritage and traditions of our nation’s African American communities. The event will be held at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington – on the eve of National Park Week.

 

This year’s theme “Celebrating Legacies – from Civil War to Civil Rights” highlights the contributions of honorees Fred Gray, Dr. Frank Smith, Jr. and The Walt Disney Company.

 

Gray’s work as a civil rights attorney exemplifies deeply held principles that have advanced equality and changed the course of American history. Dr. Smith, founding director of the African American Civil War Museum, is the leading force behind the creation of the nation’s only African American Civil War Memorial, located in Washington, D.C. The Walt Disney Company will be recognized as AAEF’s largest corporate donor.

 

Rep. Lewis will be the keynote speaker and Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater is the Honorary Chair of the Gala.

 

“Through AAEF’s 10th anniversary gala, we celebrate the magnificent legacies of leadership, vision and courage of our honorees Fred Gray and Dr. Frank Smith,” said Lydia Sermons, Executive Director of AAEF.  “We are pleased by the occasion to honor these legacy leaders and our legacy donor The Walt Disney Company, and at the same time raise awareness and support for our work to help ensure that future generations of American citizens and overseas visitors have the chance to experience the places where our nation’s rich history actually happened. “

 

Since it was established in 2001, AAEF has welcomed more than two million visitors annually to its 20 national historic sites and has provided more than $1.3 million in grant support for projects and programs aimed at connecting young people, educators, tourists, communities and organizations to these very special places.

 

AAEF’s work includes helping with the restoration of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, the establishment of the Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, and the installation of interactive activities for classroom visitors at Booker T. Washington National Monument.

 

Honorees from past Galas include Congressman John Lewis; General Colin Powell; Ambassador Andrew Young; the Little Rock Nine and historian John Hope Franklin.


Proceeds from this event fund education, volunteer and community engagement programs at AAEF national historic sites that preserve and promote African American history and culture. 

 


STORY TAGS: Bloody Sunday , John Lewis , Fred Gray , National Historic Trail , National Park Foundation (NPF) , African American Experience Fund (AAEF)Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American News



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