The Haddonfield Foundation Board of Trustees has elected to provide an unparalleled measure of support to advance the work of The Preserving Black Haddonfield History Project through a $5,000 Challenge Grant. The Foundation’s award is intended to stimulate additional investments and underwrite the implementation of Walking Tour and Historical Marker Program(s), which are currently in-development as PBHHP’s Phase II priorities.
This grant is contingent on the organization matching it with the monies needed to accomplish these two aspects of the project, which is estimated to be $10,000. So far, four donors have pledged funds to support meeting the challenge and jumpstart additional giving: Independence Public Media Foundation and Haddonfield Educational Trust, as well as civic leaders and longtime residents Jamie Horwitz-Fram, Esq. and Joseph Murphy, Esq.
In announcing this award, Haddonfield Foundation Grants Chairman Marie DiMatties said, “There was a consensus among the Trustees regarding the importance of this project to the community of Haddonfield…..The Foundation Board of Trustees unanimously approved a grant of up to $5,000 towards the Walking Tour and Historical Markers Program(s).”
Borough Historian Douglas Rauschenberger of the Historical Society of Haddonfield stated “this is big and important work.”
Since its inception last year, PBHHP has fostered meaningful connections among Haddonfield Memorial High School alumni, educators, students, and residents both past and present. Last summer and fall, PBHHP collaborated with Haddonfield Memorial High School Accelerated English Teacher Holly Maiese to collect oral histories from elders ages 70 to nearly 100, resulting in the publication of PBHHP’s first anthology, PRESERVE: Narratives from Historic Haddonfield’s African-American Community. In an interview with The Haddonfield Sun, a student involved with the project shared, “It’s taught me to put myself in someone else’s shoes and have empathy.”
During the recent anthology release celebration, students from Karen Bannett’s Digital Arts class conducted interviews with the elders intended for posting as a pre-Juneteenth docu-series on the Haddonfield Public Library Local History webpage designated for PBHHP.
PBHHP’s Phase I achievements were made possible with support from its Founding Sponsor Haddonfield Education Association as well as the Antiracist Coalition. Additionally, in-kind support was provided through the Haddonfield Public Library and the Historical Society(ies) of Haddonfield and Lawnside.
The (Haddonfield) Sun Newspapers and WHYY were media sponsors.
“The Haddonfield Education Association is committed to making our Local a center of community healing and joy,” said HEA Events Chair and HMHS English/Special Education Teacher Stacey Downham-
Brown. “We can’t imagine a better use of our Community Event funds than this partnership with the Haddonfield Alumni Society in its Preserving Black Haddonfield History Project. We are so excited to be a part of this ongoing and essential work. Black History is American History.”
The Walking Tour is expected to visit 12 locations of historic significance along with printed guidebooks and an interactive web-based map beginning on or about June 19, 2023—corresponding with the Juneteenth Holiday. All materials, including a copy of any published works, docu-series, maps and websites, will be made freely accessible to the public via the Historical Society of Haddonfield and Haddonfield Public Library for use in educational programming and community enrichment.
Donations may be made c/o Haddonfield Educational Trust with a notation designating The Preserving Black Haddonfield History Project as the intended recipient via PO Box 178 Haddonfield NJ 08033. Inquiries may also be directed to Adrienne Rhodes via (917) 497-8874.