On Tuesday, June 18, the Shaw 54th Memorial Restoration Partners hosted a Community Partner Breakfast Briefing at the historic Dillaway-Thomas House, part of the Roxbury Heritage State Park in Roxbury. Attendees represented many organizations including the Roxbury Historical Society, the Concerned Black Men of Massachusetts, the Urban League, the Boston Athenaeum, and Emerson College.

Community Partners and advocates gathered to hear updates and ask questions about the Shaw 54th Memorial Restoration Project. Community Partners were encouraged to spread the word about the Shaw 54th restoration and programming, and to identify opportunities to partner on programs. Attendees enjoyed a hearty breakfast of eggs, grits, and shrimp and socializing before the briefing. Leonard Lee, Curator & Manager of the DCR-owned Dillaway-Thomas House, kicked off the program and welcomed all to “our house.”

Project Partners Share Updates

Liz Vizza, Executive Director of the Friends of the Public Garden, thanked the Community Partners for joining the National Park Service, City of Boston, Friends of the Public Garden, and Museum of African American History in support of this important restoration project. She described the need for the multi-million dollar project and announced interpretive signage and an augmented reality app to coincide with the reconstruction launch, along with a screening of the Academy-Award winning film Glory on Boston Common on August 13.

Marita Rivero, President & CEO, Museum of African American History, shared the history and significance of Juneteenth, and talked about the significant contributions made by African Americans in Boston before and leading up to the Civil War. Liza Stearns, Director of Visitor Engagement, Education, and the Arts, National Park Service, announced the plan to pursue a National Historic Landmark status for the Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial. She also shared further plans for a historic resource study on the creation and enduring impact of the Shaw 54th Memorial. Lori Nelson, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Boston, emphasized the Mayor’s and the City’s dedication and commitment to this important project.

Attendees enjoyed a guided tour of the Dillaway-Thomas House at the end of the reception.

Project Partner Representatives, from left to right: Liza Stearns, National Park Service, Lori Nelson, City of Boston, Marita Rivero, Museum of African American History, and Liz Vizza, Friends of the Public Garden