DC awarded $50,000 grant to produce Latino history study

D.C. just got a new grant to help research and highlight the history of the Latino community in the District.

“The Latino community is an increasingly large portion of our population. They’ve obviously added a tremendous amount to the District’s culture and history,” said Steve Callcott, deputy preservation officer in the D.C. Office of Planning.

The D.C. Preservation League is partnering with the D.C. Office of Planning’s Historic Preservation Office to implement the $50,000 grant from the National Park Service.

It will be used to develop a study called “The History of Latino Communities in Washington, D.C.”

“We’re looking at Latino history from the early 1940s up until the early 1990s, and the various waves of immigrants that came to the city, starting during and after World War II up until the civil disturbances that took place in Mount Pleasant in 1991,” Callcott said.

With the grant, D.C. will hire a consultant to lead the work and hopes to nominate two properties with Latino history to list on the National Register of Historic Places within 18 months.

“We think it’s time for that history to be understood and evaluated and for us to start thinking about it as history as something that should be recorded and recognized,” Callcott said.

Funding for the project comes from the National Park Services’ “Underrepresented Community Grants Fund.”

This is the third Underrepresented Communities Grant the D.C. Preservation League and the D.C. Historic Preservation Office will partner on. Other studies in progress focus on Women’s History and Suffrage and Asian and Pacific Islander Communities.

“There are endless American stories yet to be recognized on the national stage, like the National Register of Historic Places. The Underrepresented Community Grant program provides our state, Tribal, and Certified Local Government partners the means to identify and nominate their most significant places and stories for the benefit of all,” National Park Service Director Chuck Sams said in a news release.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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