Shorefront awarded two-year grant for its preservation of the city’s Black history

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Courtesy of Dino Robinson

A wall in the Shorefront Legacy Center. Shorefront Legacy Center has been awarded a two-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Angeli Mittal, Reporter

Shorefront Legacy Center was awarded a two-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Wednesday for its archives and local reparations research initiatives.

“Shorefront’s two-year grant will increase engagement within the local Black communities,” a Shorefront press release read. “The grant will support Shorefront’s work in collections care, programming activities, publications, the African American Heritage Sites Program and research efforts involving local reparations.”

The press release said the two-year grant will allow Shorefront to build upon 25 years of educational and outreach initiatives. Additionally, Shorefront can expand its archive collections with a focus on Haitian and Jamaican communities and invest in additional preservation and security measures.

Evanston historian and Shorefront founder Dino Robinson established the center in 1995 to preserve artifacts and educate residents on suburban North Shore Black communities. Evanston City Council honored Robinson last week by naming a part of Church St. after him.

Robinson’s work at the Shorefront providing historical documentation of discriminatory policies in Evanston has furthered the city’s reparations program, according to aldermen. He has also started Evanston’s African American heritage sites program, as well as the annual Black History Makers program.

“(Robinson’s) vision is that Black history should be common knowledge,” Shorefront Board President Chip Ratliff said during public comment at last Monday’s City Council meeting. “He has spent the last 25 years working hours that some of us might not even imagine, or possibly even have in our bodies and souls, pointed towards making sure that Black history on Chicago’s suburban North Shore is kept.”

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Twitter: @amittal27

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