Community listening sessions on African American Heritage Trail scheduled

Press release from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority:

(ASHEVILLE, N.C.; December 29, 2019) – We use stories to make sense of the world. How will Asheville tell an inclusive story of its history?

Dina Bailey has explored that question. She’s an expert on inclusive history. Her experience includes work for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

In January she’ll lead talks about Asheville’s first African American Heritage Trail. The community is invited to participate in one of four sessions led by Bailey, to help shape the themes, content, design and route of the trail. (See details below.)

In addition to attending the sessions, community members are invited to complete an online survey.

The sessions and survey are part of an engagement process with community advocate Kimberly Hunter of Asheville. The trail was featured at the Creative Sector Summit kickoff at the YMI Cultural Center in May and at the African Americans in South Appalachia Conference at UNC Asheville in October. Design and construction are slated for 2020-2021.

The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) is funding the project through its Tourism Product Development Fund grant program. River Front Development Group, an African American founded nonprofit, submitted the grant application in 2018. BCTDA will maintain the trail markers as part of its wayfinding signage program. For more information, visit:

WHAT: Community Listening Sessions for Asheville’s African American Heritage Trail


  • Thursday, January 9: 5:30 – 7 p.m., Friendship Ctr., 142 Shiloh Rd, Asheville.
  • Friday, January 10: 12 – 1:30 p.m., Stephens-Lee Recreation Ctr., 30 George Washington Carver Ave., Asheville.
  • Friday, January 10: 3 – 4:30 p.m., Stephens-Lee Recreation Ctr., 30 George Washington Carver Ave., Asheville.
  • Saturday, January 11: 10 – 11:30 a.m., Explore Asheville offices (former Allen High School, across from Berry Temple), 27 College Place, Asheville.

 WHY:    Discuss how and what to feature on Asheville’s first African-American Heritage Trail


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