Derek Boyd Hankerson, Freedom Road 1, LLC Managing Partner, announced to local Historic City News reporters that VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official source for travel planning, has awarded the organization a Small Business Partner Marketing Grant for the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year.
Freedom Road is a travel, tourism, media and production related company dedicated to American history and the contributions of minorities in that history. VISIT FLORIDA is Enterprise Florida’s day-to-day operating corporation for tourism and is a public-private partnership.
“We were pleased that VISIT FLORIDA and Enterprise Florida selected us from a large number of tourism marketing grant applicants,” Hankerson told Historic City News. “These funds will be used for the production of rack cards highlighting the rich American history related to minorities and will help us better position and market Florida and St Augustine as a desirable destination.”
According to Chris Thompson, President for VISIT FLORIDA, the purpose of these grants is to help non-profit entities, and local governments, to expand cultural, heritage, rural and nature tourism activities in Florida.
As sponsors of the 6th Annual National Park Service Underground Railroad Conference held earlier this year, Freedom Road has been has been leading the effort to extend the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Project south to St Johns County. The NPS project is estimated to have a $20 million dollar economic development impact. It is the only project, of 48 “National Heritage Area Projects”, dedicated to African-Americans.