Saving Virginia’s Rosenwald Schools among the activities scheduled for JTCC’s celebration of Black History Month

In the era between the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, the Rosenwald rural school building program provided critical educational opportunities to African Americans in the South. Through this initiative, pioneered by Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald, more than 5,000 Rosenwald Schools were built, including 364 in Virginia.

It is estimated that only about 10 percent of these schools remain standing, and in 2013, Preservation Virginia included the Rosenwald Schools on its annual Most Endangered Historical Sites list.

On February 22, 2014, John Tyler Community College (JTCC) in partnership with Preservation Virginia will host a networking and planning meeting on Saving Virginia’s Rosenwald Schools.

The goal of this event is to bring together Rosenwald School alumni and their descendants, students, community members, historical groups, researchers, and preservationists to discuss current efforts to save these sites and to help inform the planning of a statewide initiative that will identify the types of resources needed for surveying and preserving Rosenwald Schools in Virginia.

Anyone with ties to the Rosenwald Schools and those interested in learning about these preservation efforts are invited to participate in the discussion. Admission is free, but pre-registration is required. Saving Virginia’s Rosenwald Schools will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on February 22 in the Nicholas Center at John Tyler Community College’s Chester Campus located at 13101 Jefferson Davis Hwy.

For additional information about the event or to register, contact Dr. Alyce Miller, associate professor of history at John Tyler, at or 804-706-5254 or Mr. Justin Sarafin, director of preservation initiatives and engagement at Preservation Virginia, at or 804-648-1889 ext. 317.

In addition to the Rosenwald Schools summit, John Tyler Community College will hold a number of other activities throughout February in honor of Black History Month. These activities are free and open to the community.

Wednesday, February 12

12 p.m.
Led by Author Charles Carroll Lee and Thomasine Hill
Chester Campus, Nicholas Center, room N102

Wednesday, February 12
2 p.m.
Lecture – The Virginia Slave Name Database
Presented by Dr. Lauranett Lee, Curator of African American History, Virginia Historical Society
Midlothian Campus, Hamel Hall, room H109

Friday, February 14
11 a.m.
Lecture – Virginia’s Pupil Placement Board and the Practical Applications of Massive Resistance, 1956-1966
Presented by Dr. Katie Eskridge, Germanna Community College Assistant Professor
of History and JTCC Adjunct Instructor
Chester Campus, Bird Hall, room B124

For more information about JTCC’s Black History Month events, contact Dr. Alyce Miller at or 706-5254.


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