For the last several years, Dr. Michael has been involved with efforts to reform the National Register of Historic Places to address its “Diversity Deficit.” Only a few percent of those sites listed on the Register tell the story of the majority of Americans, including especially women, minorities and indigenous peoples. This work began in the Diversity Committee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
A series of panels and sessions at National Trust conferences beginning in 2013 have been tackling this issue and developing structural solutions, a compilation of which Dr. Michael presented at Goucher College’s 7th National Symposium on Historic Preservation Practice in March, 2016. Dr. Michael has frequently written about the subject in his blog and Forum Journal magazine.
Most recently, I participated in meetings with the City of San Antonio and at the National Preservation Conference looking at ways to preserve cultural landmarks where the significance and cultural value of the site does not inhere in the architecture but in broader patterns of place and memory, such as San Antonio’s Malt House on the West Side.