Tears of Joy

National Park Service Recommends Landmark Status for Pauli Murray Home

Tears of JoyOctober 24, 2016. Brenda Coakley and Chandra Guinn Board members of the Pauli Murray Center react (at right) to the unanimous vote by the National Park Service History Committee of the Secretary of the Interior's Advisory Board to recommend that the Pauli Murray family home in Durham North Carolina become a National Historic Landmark. The full Secretary of The Interior's Advisory Board will meet in Philadelphia in November. We hope—and expect—they will also support this nomination and that the Secretary of The Interior Sally Jewell will designate it a National Historic Landmark before the next presidential administration. (View the Nomination. Click on photos for larger images.)


A dozen supporters attended the committee hearing with Heather Fearnbach presenting the nomination to the committee which received her excellent presentation very well. Pauli Murray HearingSeveral committee members spoke in favor of the nomination and the requests for changes were minimal. It was a very positive and exciting experience. The National Collaborative for Women's History Sites (NCWHS) was definitely recognized for our efforts as were the Pauli Murray Center and the National Trust for Historic Preservation which has been a partner with us throughout the process, strengthening our relationships with the National Trust. The National Trust ran a petition in support of the nomination and received 2,500 signatures. In addition 35 letters were presented from NCWHS and other organizations, individuals and elected official's showing the breath and complexity of this amazing woman who so gave for all of us and whose efforts have been improved every one of our lives because of her efforts to include “sex” in the 1965 Civil Rights Act. Pauli Murray HearingShe understood the intersection and overlap between race and gender long before anyone else, identifying it as Jane Crow which she suffered from her whole life being denied opportunities first as a Black and then as a female. She was the first African-American woman ordained an Episcopal priest an event that was the culmination of her lifelong seeking to live the Gospel. A representative from the National Organization for Women (NOW) also spoke as the Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray was a founder of NOW. She was also a poet, lawyer, historian and lifelong activist. The NHL nomination was brought under the Women’s History theme study and the LGBTQ theme study. Congrats to all and stay tuned for the next steps.
Heather Huyck