Providence, RI – The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities has been awarded $50,000 as part of the nationwide “Why it Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This electoral initiative will build on the existing statewide civic engagement platform XIX: Shall Not Be Denied, which has successfully partnered with over 30 organizations in the past year to catalyze community awareness of the centennial of the 19th Amendment.
The XIX: Shall Not Be Denied: Why It Matters Initiative is designed to rapidly deploy resources to organizations delivering accessible, relevant, inclusive, empowering, and diverse programs that connect communities to trusted information about the democratic process and engage with historical and cultural knowledge to provide context for ongoing efforts to increase participation. A request for proposals (RFP) will be announced in December. After submitted applications are reviewed by an independent panel, seven grants of $5,000 each will be awarded. Projects should seek to reach diverse audiences and engage in topics related to the voting process through media literacy, cultural and artistic responses as a form of voter engagement, issues of voter suppression and constraint, and experiences of voting in historical and contemporary contexts. A detailed RFP will be posted on the Humanities Council website soon.
“The Humanities Council is excited to continue our partnership with the Department of State through this new initiative inspired by the need to connect humanities methods to civic engagement at a moment when democracy in the United States faces a variety of challenges. This new grant opportunity will extend and amplify the remarkable work being done by organizations across the state to connect communities to the ongoing struggle for suffrage,” said Elizabeth Francis, executive director of the Humanities Council.
“Our democracy is strongest when more people take part,” said Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea. “That’s why I have made it my mission to improve access to the ballot box while protecting the integrity of every vote. It’s terrific to continue our partnership with the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities by reaching into our communities to encourage civic engagement and voting. Together, we can move Rhode Island toward a better future where we have a diversity of opinions and perspectives at the policy-making table.”
The Initiative will engage an independent facilitator to manage the grant process and support networking and communication among participating organizations. Initiative activities will run from December 2020 – April 2021. Find more information at www.rihumanities.org.
About XIX: Shall Not Be Denied:
Developed with input from leaders of cultural, educational, and service organizations across the state, XIX: Shall Not Be Denied is a web portal launched in December 2019 that provides branding, educational resources, and social media promotion for events, exhibitions, salons and lectures, panels, digital projects, performances, and research on a wide array of topics inspired by the centennial of the 19th Amendment, relevant to diverse audiences, and connected to contemporary issues. XIX: Shall Not Be Denied is guided by core values that include accessibility, relevance, inclusivity, empowerment and diversity. More at www.shallnotbedenied.org.
About the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities
The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities seeds, supports, and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders. As an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council has provided over $8 million in grants to support more than 650 organizations throughout the state of Rhode Island, as well as independent researchers, filmmakers, scholars, and oral historians, since its founding in 1973.
For more information, contact Rachael Jeffers at firstname.lastname@example.org or (401) 273-2250.