Brent Leggs is the Executive Director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. The largest preservation campaign ever undertaken on behalf of African American history, the Action Fund has sparked a movement dedicated to telling the truth about our past, and cultivating hope for the future. As Executive Director, Brent leads a growing community of activists, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders who believe that when we preserve African American cultural sites, we create spaces where stories of Black activism, achievement and resilience can enrich our understanding of the American story, inspire us to explore our potential, and invite us to connect with each other.
A Harvard University Loeb Fellow and 2018 recipient of the Robert G. Stanton National Preservation Award, over the past decade, Brent has led efforts to create the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument in Alabama, which President Barack Obama designated in January 2017. Other campaign successes include the perpetual protection of cultural monuments like Villa Lewaro, the estate of Madam C. J. Walker in Irvington, New York; Joe Frazier’s Gym in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey; A. G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham, Alabama; Nina Simone’s birthplace in Tryon, North Carolina; John and Alice Coltrane’s home in Huntington, New York; and more. Brent has taught or teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, University of Maryland, Harvard University, and Boston Architectural College.