Minneapolis African American Historic and Cultural Context Study

You can read about the engagement project for the Minneapolis African American Historic and Cultural Context Study.


The engagement project for a Minneapolis African American Historic and Cultural Context Study will identify, honor and highlight people and places across the city where African Americans have made spectacular contributions. In partnership with the City’s Community Planning and Economic Development Department, Lange Johnson Development (with support from Equity Strategies, LLC and the 106 Group) is conducting citywide community engagement efforts. Lange Johnson Development have worked with numerous underrepresented communities in the Twin Cities, facilitating conversations and encouraging collaboration among stakeholders. More about the project: 

  • The project is funded by a grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF) of the National Trust for Historic Preservation with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
  • The community outreach effort will collect feedback on the needs and wants of the Black community relative to heritage preservation and cultural resources. It will help to uncover insight into significant historic properties, neighborhoods of interest, and the community that shaped the history of Minneapolis.
  • This project will only be efficient and effective if we build upon the extensive past efforts of community members in documenting and promoting African American heritage citywide. Community engagement will ensure incorporation of the knowledge and expertise of all community participants.


This project is the first step toward creating a comprehensive Historic and Cultural Context Study—a document that will identify and research many different sites and properties in Minneapolis that are significant for their associations with Black and African American heritage. The study will lay framework to guide future initiatives with these historic resources— initiatives which may include landmark and/or historic district designations; historic interpretation efforts like plaques, monuments, online resources, or guided tours; or possible future heritage preservation tools that could be developed as a result of the study. 

Outreach and engagement project timeline

Step 1

Community engagement meetings

October to November 2021 (see below for details) 

Step 2

Draft report completed

February 2022

Step 3

Draft report review period

February to March 2022

Step 4

Final report anticipated

March 2022

Step 5

Anticipated project completion

April 2022

How to participate

Share your input through AACHAF Grant Project Comment Form

Online engagement events

  • Black Music in Minneapolis
    October 12, 2021 6:30 p.m.
    Panelists: Gary Hines, Harry Spike Moss, DeSha Russell   
  • Black Homes and Leisure Activities
    October 19, 2021 6:30 p.m.
    Panelists: Harry Davis, Jr., Vivian Jenkins Nelsen
  • Black Houses of Worship in Minneapolis, 1860-2021
    October 26, 2021 6:30 p.m.
    Panelists: Rev. Billy G Russell, Rev. Tracey Gibson
  • Businesses, Professional and Social Organizations
    November 9, 2021 6:30 p.m.
    Panelists: Dr. Rose Brewer, William English, Theatrice Williams   
  • Sites of Consciousness for the Black Community
    November 16, 2021 6:30 p.m.
    Panelists: Tracey Williams-Dillard, Angela Myers, Mel Reeves
  • Arts and Culture in the Black Community
    November 23, 2021 6:30 p.m.
    Panelists: Coventry Cowens, Leesa Kelly, Seitu Jones 

Contact us

Community Planning & Economic Development

Heritage Preservation




Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415