Cleveland Restoration Society — African American Cultural Heritage Fellowship

Duration: 1 year (with the possibility of a 2nd year)
Dates: January 3-December 30, 2022
Hours per week: 40 (9 a.m.-5 p.m., as well as some evenings and weekends)
Annual salary: $47,500
Benefits: Medical, dental, 5 personal days, 10 vacation days, $1,000 stipend for professional development 

The African American Cultural Heritage Fellowship at the Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS) provides an opportunity for one (1) promising emerging professional to help preserve and valorize historic sites in Cleveland that played an important role in the struggle for African American civil rights. Together with the Director of Preservation Services & Publications and other key CRS staff, the Fellow will help coordinate and implement the Cleveland Civil Rights Trail project. 

The Cleveland Civil Rights Trail will initially feature 10 sites in Cleveland that are significant to the African American Civil Rights Movement between the 1950s and 1970s. To date, three Trail sites have been publicly announced: Cory United Methodist Church, which played a leading role in civil rights in Cleveland and hosted civil rights leaders including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X; Glenville High School, where Dr. King delivered his famous “Rise Up!” speech; and a corner of E. 79th and Hough Avenue, where the Hough Uprising of 1966 originated. Each location will be physically marked by an Ohio Historical Marker—a large and dignified metal sign fabricated in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Office—that will provide information about the site and its importance to the movement. A website dedicated to the Trail will provide in-depth content, including interpretive text written by civil rights scholars and historians that will discuss the significance of the sites and how they connect to civil rights matters today, including the Black Lives Matter movement. The website will also feature oral histories by elders in Cleveland who have memories of events related to the civil rights movement; images, including archived photographs as well as digitized personal images and memorabilia provided by community members; videos; and other multimedia content. 

The Fellow’s responsibilities will include: 

  1. Researching and curating content for the Cleveland Civil Rights Trail website;
  2. Maintaining the Cleveland Civil Rights Trail website, including uploading content and creating
    new webpages in WordPress using pre-designed templates;
  3. Coordinating and conducting up to 20 oral history interviews with elders from the community
    and editing them for upload to the website, social media, and our partners’ archives;
  4. Coordinating public events, including: 3-4 Ohio Historical Marker unveiling ceremonies; 3-4
    community storytelling and image digitization events; and one (1) webinar by a nationally
    renowned civil rights scholar;
  5. Attending all Civil Rights Trail committee meetings; and
  6. Assisting CRS staff and consulting scholars with other project-related tasks as needed, such as
    the preparation and submission of Ohio Historical Marker applications. 

The selection process will be highly competitive. The successful candidate will have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a humanities subject or related discipline and a demonstrated interest in African American history and/or historic preservation. Preference will be given to candidates with a graduate degree (completed or in progress) in African American history and heritage, with an emphasis on civil rights. 

Excellent critical thinking and writing skills, as well as sufficient computer competency to carry out assigned work, are essential. The Fellow is expected to be proficient at using Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook) and should feel comfortable working with and learning how to use various types of equipment and technology, including: WordPress, Zoom, audiovisual equipment, and audio/video editing software. Training will be provided for tasks such as creating webpages in WordPress and conducting oral histories both in person and by Zoom. The Fellow will receive additional opportunities for professional development throughout the year. 

To be considered for the African American Cultural Heritage Fellowship, please submit the following materials, combined into one PDF document, to by 5:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, October 26, 2021:  

  1. Cover letter (no more than 1 page) that demonstrates the candidate’s interest in the Fellowship opportunity
  2. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  3. Writing sample of 6-10 pages (college papers are acceptable)
  4. College and (if applicable) graduate school transcripts (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
  5. Two references (please include full contact information and their relationship to you)
  6. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Incomplete applications will automatically be removed from consideration. 

The successful candidate will be notified by November 29 and must accept or decline the position by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 3. The preferred start date is Monday, January 3, 2022 and the Fellow is expected to commit to a full year of service through Friday, December 30, 2022. During the term of engagement, the Fellow should reside in Northeast Ohio at least 75% of the time, have their own means of transportation, and be prepared to work on a hybrid (in-office/remote, 75%/25%) basis. A laptop computer will be provided. 

The Cleveland Restoration Society is an equal opportunity employer, hiring without discrimination due to race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, disability or any other protected characteristic established by law. CRS is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and seeks a highly diverse pool from which to select the strongest candidate for this position. BIPOC and other underrepresented minorities who match this Fellowship profile are strongly encouraged to apply. 

This Fellowship has been made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.