Pioneer Maggie Walker's Journey Toward Educational Achievement for All

Girl taking part in an NPF program at a National Park
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site devoted to the advancement to African American women through education, community support, and financial independence.

The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site commemorates the life of a progressive and talented African American woman. Despite many adversities, she achieved success in the world of business and finance as the first woman in the United States to charter and serve as president of a bank.

The site includes her residence of thirty years and a visitor center detailing her life and the Jackson Ward community in which she lived and worked. The house is restored to its 1930's appearance with original Walker family pieces.

A grant from NPF helped support the Maggie L. Walker NHS Summer Youth Leadership Institute, a two-week program for students ages 14-18 from Richmond area high schools. The institute places a special emphasis on attracting participants from underserved and under-engaged communities in the immediate vicinity of the historic site. The institute utilizes a service-learning based curriculum which is designed to connect youth to park resources and to the life, legacy, and inspirational actions of Maggie L. Walker (1864-1934). Mrs. Walker was elected head of a national organization, the Independent Order of St. Luke, and became the first African American female bank president long before women could vote and African Americans were afforded equal protection under the law. Throughout her life, Mrs. Walker promoted the benefits of community engagement to youth in order to nurture the next generation of activists. The leadership institute, following Mrs. Walker's example, offers each participant opportunities for peer mentoring, interaction with community leaders, field trips, and leadership development to foster their personal growth as leaders, community stewards, and active citizens.

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