Commonwealth Heritage Group, Inc. (Commonwealth) joins with those who appeal for an end to racial injustice. Those of us in the historic preservation/cultural resources management industry regularly work to identify and evaluate the sites, buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and traditional places where past individuals and communities have fought to make their voices heard and end injustice. We regularly engage with communities whose histories have been marginalized. We need to strive for more than just identification and evaluation; we need to lead the charge. A proper and thorough understanding of the past is imperative to overcoming the problems of our present, to build a better future for those who have struggled for centuries. Our team works with the historic materials—buildings, bridges, artifacts, stories, beliefs—of many of the unheard black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) populations and their ancestors.
We mourn for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless more who lost their lives to systemic racism, and we pledge to join the fight with those who cannot and must not lose their lives to the same problem.
Commonwealth is committed to a soul-search of our practices (from recruiting and hiring to promotion and everyday field and office culture) to better understand all of our biases. We are committed to listening to our BIPOC employees, community members, project stakeholders, clients, team members, and business partners, and we are committed to being actively anti-racist so that we may understand how to be part of a true solution: a more just and equitable future.
Below we provide a list of resources for calls-to-action both for ourselves and for others around us. Share the list. Educate yourself and others. Take action. (Thank you to Ohio Archaeological Council, Midwest Archaeological Conference, Michigan Historic Preservation Network, and the Society for American Archaeology for information included above and in the attached list of online resources for learning more.)
Andrew J. Weir, MA, RPA
President and Owner
Commonwealth Heritage Group, Inc.
The BIPOC Project
The Society of Black Archaeologists
Association of Black Anthropologists
Discrimination in America: Experiences and Views of Latinos
Race, Power and Policy: Dismantling Structural Racism
Zinn Education Project, Native American Resources
Michigan State University Libraries Native American Studies Research Guide
Springer Nature Black Lives Matter Collection
Indiana Crossroads: Hoosier Civil Rights (a virtual museum)
“It Wasn’t A Sweet Life”: Engaging Students in Oral History Interviewing Across Race, Class, and Generations
A list of books for kids about race and racism