William G. Pomeroy Foundation Provides Grant To While We Are Still Here To Celebrate Harlem’s History

February 12, 2021

From Ethel Waters and Althea Gibson to Marcus Garvey and Langston Hughes, Harlem’s extraordinary historic legacy.

That legacy was vital to the intellectual, cultural, and political advancements of African Americans and the United States.

With funding from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, While We are Still Here will be installing twenty-five historic markers to be placed around the Harlem community, beginning in the summer of 2021, to celebrate the historic places of this important community.

The list of locations for the markers will be announced in the spring of 2021.

“Providing historic markers is a vital way for the Harlem community to celebrate its history and understand the important people, places and stories that must be remembered,” said Deryn Pomeroy, William G. Pomeroy Foundation’s Director of Strategic Initiatives. “We are very proud to play a role in helping to preserve the history of Harlem in order to educate and inspire future generations.”

“We are grateful for the grant from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation for these historic markers because they are critical to helping us understand the history of Harlem and of African Americans,” said Karen Taylor, Executive Director of While We Are Still Here. “These markers will help us ensure that the community of Harlem and beyond will honor and find the meaningful connection to the history and legacy of African American achievement and its importance to world culture.”

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The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history; and to raising awareness, supporting research, and improving the quality of care for patients and their families who are facing a blood cancer diagnosis.

One of their initiatives is helping people to celebrate their community’s history. They meet this by providing grants to obtain signage in the form of roadside markers and plaques.

Since 2006, they have funded over 1,300 signs across the United States, all the way to Alaska. wgpfoundation.org

While We Are Still Here is a 501(c)(3) organization that includes long-term residents of 409 and 555 Edgecombe Avenue—the average number of years of residence is thirty.

When While We Are Still Here began in 2015, its work was focused on 409 and 555 Edgecombe Avenue, but over time, its scope was broadened to include all of Harlem.

Non-resident members are interested in helping to preserve the grand history of important sites in Harlem.

While We Are Still Here was formed as a response to the threat that history would be lost and gone forever, partially due to the passing of time, and partially due to “gentrification,” which is rapidly altering the environment.

Photo credit: Langston Hughes.

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