New Voices Join PastForward Preservation Conference

Keynote speakers announced for national preservation conference, convening more than a thousand attendees passionate about saving places and building communities

PastForward, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual conference, convenes thousands of community advocates, government leaders, and allies to unlock the potential of their historic places to promote prosperity, foster equity, and encourage sustainability.

Join with others from across the country in a variety of new ways to network, learn, be inspired, and inspire others, as you strategize how to turn your vision of stronger, inclusive communities into reality.

This year we will have more than 100 thought-provoking speakers and more than 41 educational sessions, which receive Continuing Education Units from the American Institute of Architects and the American Planning Association, attendees have the chance to learn about timely intersecting topics such as leveraging historic tax credits to repurpose older buildings to create energy-efficient, affordable housing or how to preserve the places and stories that are important to all Americans.

Access Expertise of National Leaders

  • Scheduled programming November 1-4 kicks off with the Opening Plenary featuring Daniella Levine Cava, mayor, Miami Dade County. The first female mayor of Miami Dade County, Cava will describe her administration’s efforts to help the communities become more climate resilient, to support small business development, and to create affordable housing by adapting historic buildings.

Di Gao

Grace Young

  • Join A Conversation About Saving Chinatowns with award-winning cookbook author, culinary historian, and Chinatown activist Grace Young and Di Gao, senior director of research and development at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This year, Grace received the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award for her work to save Chinatowns amid Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Later in the week, hear from Sehila Mota Casper, the first executive director of Latinos in Heritage Conservation (LHC), share how the organization is re-imagining a historic preservation movement that elevates Latinx heritage, people, and places.
  • In Envisioning a Better Future Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, chief executive officer, American Institute of Architects and William J. Bates, FAIA, NOMA, former American Institute of Architect president, National Trust for Historic Preservation board member explore AIA’s strategic priorities, how it views adaptive reuse of existing buildings as “climate action,” and the imperative need to train new people to work in historic trades.

Sehila Mota Casper

  • A Presidential Conversation: Preserving the Legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), moderated by former National Park Service Director, Robert G. Stanton, presidents of several HBCUs will discuss the legacy of these school and how they are addressing the challenges impacting these important cultural landscapes. This session will feature Logan Hampton, president, Lane College; Cynthia Warrick, president, Stillman College; and David K. Wilson, president, Morgan State University.

New Conference Formats!

This year’s conference consists of several types of informational and educational content including scheduled sessions, on-demand sessions, and pre-and-post conference workshops/webinars.

  • Marquee events offered virtually November 1-4 feature well-known speakers and will mainly occur one at a time to allow for a synchronous, collective conference attendee experience. Highlights include plenaries, the National Preservation Awards, Miami cultural heritage sessions, and networking events.
  • On-demand sessions will be available beginning in October for all conference registrants to watch at their leisure, allowing for flexibility in viewing.
  • Pre-and-post workshops provide baseline knowledge and opportunities to interact with experienced instructors on legal preservation considerations, federal advocacy, and combining tax credits to finance adaptive reuse projects.

Register Today

Registration is open! Rates start at $115 for individuals, and National Trust Forum Organizational members can register up to ten colleagues for one flat rate of $285. Rates will increase later this month.

Through thought-provoking educational sessions and engaging networking events, you’ll have the chance to connect with others on topics that matter to you. Advocates and architects, city planners and historic site directors, students and elected officials, commissioners, and main street directors … if you have a role in preserving the places that made America and sustain its people, you’ll find a home at PastForward.

Learn more at

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Colleen Danz is the Senior Manager of Marketing Campaigns & Partnerships for the National Trust For Historic Preservation.

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