Shell Louisiana has presented a $300,000 grant to the River Road African American Museum in Donaldsonville, to support the restoration of the Museum’s historic Rosenwald School building. When completed, the structure will house the RRAAM Rosenwald School for Education, Culture and History, which will provide a modern space for museum visitors and school groups to explore the important role of Blacks in the region’s history.
Planned for a summer 2021 openning, the facility will also enhance the museum’s ability to serve as a center for genealogical research as well as provide science, technology, engineering, art, and math programing; healthy eating healthy living seminars; and culture and history events.
“The River Road African American Museum is truly excited about the gift Shell is contributing to our work,” said Todd L. Sterling, RRAAM’s board president. “Many children, members of the community, and patrons from around the world will be the beneficiary of the programming, and events that the Rosenwald School for Education, Culture, and History will execute once the building is renovated and available for use.”
The RRAAM Rosenwald School building is one of only a few remaining in the region, originally serving as an educational facility for Black children in St. James Parish in the early 1930s. It was moved to Donaldsonville in 2001 in an effort to save the building from demolition. The building, located at 511 Williams St., is being renovated and historically restored to become part of the Museum’s growing campus in downtown Donaldsonville.
“Shell’s relationship with the River Road African American Museum goes back more than 20 years,” said Rhoman Hardy, vice president U.S. Gulf Coast for Shell Louisiana. “The Rosenwald School will bring new resources and opportunity to our region while assisting the Museum in advancing its mission; one we believe deeply in. This partnership echoes Shell’s commitment to diversity and inclusion both with our employees and in the communities in which we operate.”
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Photo Caption: (l to r) Tyrone Smith, Shell Convent Refinery Operator and RRAAM Board Member; Emanuel Mitchell, RRAAM Board Member; Allen Pertuit, Shell Convent Refinery General Manager; Darryl Hambrick, RRAAM Executive Director; Todd L. Sterling, RRAAM Board President; Rhoman Hardy, Shell Vice President U.S. Gulf Coast.