Welcome Letter

To Virginia Students, Teachers, and Families:

Welcome! In February, people all over the United States celebrate Black History Month—because Black history is American history.

Throughout history, stories of incredible African Americans have frequently been ignored and silenced. Black History Month is one opportunity to acknowledge and honor these stories of bravery, innovation, and passion. This year, we have created a new contest to help students do just that.

Each day this month, schools all around the Commonwealth are encouraged to feature a different historical marker that honors an African American person who made important contributions to Virginia.

Virginia has about 2,500 historical markers across the state—but only about 350 honor African Americans. We need you to help us tell a true and inclusive history of our Commonwealth.

At the end of the month, you and your classmates get to nominate an African American Virginian that you want to be recognized with a historic marker. The Governor's Cabinet will then work together to select a few winners.

Schools who have a winning submission can win a visit from the Governor and will receive books about Black history and other educational resources. The Virginia Department of Historic Resources will consider every idea submitted as they explore new historical markers to honor African Americans.

We are excited to see what you come up with! Please continue talking to your teachers, friends, and families about all the amazing things African American Virginians have done and continue to do to make our Commonwealth better.

Contest Details/Submission Portal

Students and classrooms can submit suggested historical markers through the portal below, or by mailing their submission to the Department of Historic Resources at the following address: 

Virginia Department of Historic Resources
Attn: K-12 Historical Marker Contest
2801 Kensington Avenue, Richmond, VA 23221 

Mailed submissions may be printed out, or written on our Blank Historical Marker Template.

Submissions should include:

  1. Name of Student
  2. Name of Teacher
  3. Name of School
  4. Name of School Division
  5. Suggested Name of Marker (Person, Group, Event, or Place)
  6. Dates of Significance (Dates of birth and death if an individual, or date of event. This field is optional.)
  7. Description of Marker (3-5 sentences)
  8. Suggested Location for Marker

Suggested historical markers must be submitted by Friday, March 6, 2020 to be considered.  After submissions are received, the Department of Historical Resources will narrow down the submissions to the top 10. The final winners will then be selected by the Governor's Cabinet.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Tori Noles at victoria.noles@governor.virginia.gov.


Teachers and parents, please use the resources below to help guide conversations on Black history and the historical marker program with your students and/or children.


If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Tori Noles at victoria.noles@governor.virginia.gov.