UNA Pressroom

University Of North Alabama Professors Earn National Park Service Grant

Apr. 03, 2018

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

Bryan Rachal

University Communications

FLORENCE, Ala.- Three University of North Alabama professors are the latest recipients of a National Park Service (NPS) grant.

UNA History professors Dr. Brian Dempsey, Dr. Carrie Barske and Dr. Ansley Quiros will receive over $45,000 from theU.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service for their project "Civil Rights Struggle in the Shoals."

According to Dr. Ansley Quiros, the "Civil Rights Struggle in the Shoals Project" seeks to research and document the complex struggle for freedom in northwest Alabama (Colbert and Lauderdale Counties) in a dynamic and accessible way that enhances the community by telling a story that has largely been ignored in the narrative of Shoals history.

"The plan is threefold," said Quiros. "We'll start off by creating a clean, informative website featuring history, imagery and video content from the civil rights struggle in the Shoals, which will provide a brief synopsis, documents, photos and clips of oral history interviews," she said.

Quiros said the second phase of the project will be to continue research on civil rights events, actors, documents, and key moments with the help of graduate and undergraduate students at the University of North Alabama. These students, with guidance from history professors and the support of local community groups, will follow up and develop web inquiries, scan materials, conduct interviews and identify relevant archival materials.

"The final phase will involve educating elementary, middle and high school teachers on the civil rights struggle in the Shoals so that they can incorporate it into the curriculum and give every schoolchild a sense of the movement in their hometown," she said. "We feel the story of civil rights in the Shoals has been under-told and this project's goal to research and tell this story, and preserve it in an intergenerational, communal way that increases knowledge of the past and furthers justice in the present."

UNA will receive its share of $12.6 million in grants designated for 51 projects in 24 states that preserve sites and highlight stories related to the African American struggle for equality in the 20th century.

"An integral part of the Interior and National Park Service mission is to help preserve and tell America's story,"said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke."These grants will benefit places across the nation that help tell an essential piece of that story through the African American struggle for civil rights and equality."

Congress appropriated funding for theAfrican American Civil Rights Grants Programin 2016 through theHistoric Preservation Fund(HPF). The HPF uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, providing assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars. For the second year of this grants program, Congress increased funding from $8 million to $13 million in 2017.

Grant-supported projects include surveys and documentation, interpretation and education, oral histories, architectural services, historic structure reports, planning and physical preservation.

For more information:https://www.una.edu/history/index.html


The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programsthrough the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business,Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing.Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Tuscumbia, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals. UNA Athletics, a renownedcollegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I's ASUN and Big South Conferences. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age or national origin.