NEH Awards $2.8 Million for Nationwide United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture Programming
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last September, the White House convened the United We Stand Summit to counter the destructive effects of hate-fueled violence on our democracy and public safety. One year later, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is awarding up to $2.8 million in United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture funding to its national network of state and jurisdictional humanities councils to support local programming that will help communities combat these threats.
“As Americans we share a responsibility for understanding and embracing our diverse cultural histories, traditions, and experiences, and for opposing hate-based violence and extremism,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “The humanities strengthen mutual understanding by providing the context, history, and models of discourse that remind us of our common purpose and shared humanity. NEH is proud to participate in this important national initiative by awarding dedicated United We Stand funding to our state and jurisdictional partners to support humanities programs focused on fostering cross-cultural understanding, communication, and resilience in communities across the country.”
Launched in coordination with the White House United We Stand Summit in September 2022, United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture is a joint initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) that leverages the arts and humanities to combat hate-motivated violence.
In February 2023, each of the state and jurisdictional humanities councils and interim partners were invited to apply for up to $50,000 in supplemental funding to support the United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture initiative by developing or expanding local humanities programming that fosters cross-cultural understanding, empathy, and community resilience; educates the public on the history of domestic extremism and hate-based violence and promotes civic engagement, information literacy, and social cohesion through strategic partnerships, community-building, and ongoing public engagement; and/or deepens public understanding of and contextualizes community, state, and national history.
This supplemental NEH funding for the state and jurisdictional humanities councils will support a range of United We Stand programs across the U.S. and U.S. jurisdictions, including the following initiatives:
- A workshop series for youth in Alaska to discuss, explore, and overcome systemic racism in rural and tribal communities;
- Public programming in California exploring Black history, Latinx history and foodways, gentrification, and the history of white supremacy in Southern California;
- Partnerships between Connecticut universities and federally and state recognized tribes to counteract Indigenous erasure in Connecticut, highlight the violence of colonization, and use the humanities to begin the process of recognition and repair within the state;
- A civic conversation program in Guam (Guåhan) facilitated by CHamoru and Micronesian cultural practitioners focused on migration, identity, discrimination- and hate-based violence, environmental sustainability, militarization, and colonization of Guåhan and Micronesia;
- A discussion program for teens in Mississippi in connection with “Anne and Emmett,” a one-act play about Anne Frank and Emmett Till;
- A community discussion series centering on the experiences of members of marginalized groups in Nebraska, including Native and Indigenous, AAPI, and LGBTQI+ communities;
- Educational programming in Ohio on the historical legacy of hate groups on Ohio’s civic fabric;
- Public programming in Puerto Rico focusing on coming together, remembering, and confronting historic and current prejudice, rights violations, and violence against LGBTQI+ individuals and communities, in both Puerto Rico and its diasporic enclaves in the United States;
- Partnerships with Clemson University and the University of South Carolina to lead panel discussions in South Carolina examining the impact of hate on society at a community, state, and national level; and
- Production of a podcast series in Virginia that tells the stories of immigrants to the United States, featuring conversations with scholars that explore their experiences and how immigrants contribute to the American story.
This special NEH funding was awarded in addition to $65 million in annual operating support provided to the network of state and jurisdictional humanities councils.
Through this initiative, NEH has already funded a partnership between Humanities Texas and Uvalde’s El Progreso Memorial Library to establish an archive preserving community and national responses to the tragic shooting that took place at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022. In early 2023, NEH published a special encouragement within its regular grant lines for projects that respond to the United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture initiative. As part of the release of the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, NEH has committed to expanding the agency’s investment in K-12 education on Jewish history as well as research, teaching, and convening opportunities for humanities scholars and institutions to study the origins, history, and effects of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and related forms of bias and discrimination in the United States. In 2024, NEH and NEA will host convenings around the nation and develop resources that leverage the arts and humanities to counter hate-motivated violence.
National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.