The Humanities for the Public Good initiative announces eight new Critical Issues Project Fund award winners. Chosen from a competitive pool of applications, these projects represent powerful collaborations between UNC scholars and nearby communities.
This year’s projects share a focus on the theme of “Belonging, ” engaging with the ways people, ideas, and/or spaces welcome or exclude. Their embrace of social justice and art feel particularly relevant to this historic moment. We look forward to watching their growth and impact over the coming year.
Learn more about the projects:
- Dialogue and Transformation: Bringing Philosophy to Juvenile Justice Centers in North Carolina – Led by Director of Outreach in the Philosophy Department, Michael Vazquez, this project will integrate philosophy and university resources in Juvenile Justice education programs. The first pilot program will be a weekly philosophy discussion group centering on Plato’s Republic for students housed at Cabarrus Youth Development Center in Concord, NC.
- Remembering the Dead, Honoring the Living: The Barbee Cemetery Remembrance Project – An oral history and community remembrance project from the Southern Oral History Program and the Chapel-Hill Carrboro NAACP centered around the unrecognized Barbee Cemetery in the Meadowmont neighborhood in Chapel Hill.
- Warren County 1921 Project – A public reenactment and engagement project around the 1921 trial of the Norlina 16, a group of Black men imprisoned after battling an armed white mob that was intent on terrorizing Norlina’s Black community in Warren County. This program is a project of American Studies professor Glenn Hinson, Warren County’s 1921 Project, that county’s SPARK (Seeking Peace and Reconciling Kinship) racial justice coalition, the Warren County NAACP, the Warren County African American History Collective, and UNC’s Institute for African American Research.
- Race and the Regency – A special six-month web series produced by the Jane Austen Summer Program featuring Q&As, lectures by scholars, and engaged practices with the Jane Austen fandom to explore the role of race in the novels and the author’s legacy.
- Southern Cultures’ The Abolitionist South – An expansion on the themes and resources of the Southern Cultures Journal’s upcoming Abolitionist South Fall 2020 Issue (special guest edited by Garrett Felber and Dionne Bailey). This project will include an extended print-run of issues for incarcerated individuals, a series of public programs and a one credit course for grad students themed on modern abolition movements.
- Process Series Storytelling Festival – Recognizing the power and potential of storytelling in its many forms at this pivotal moment in American culture and politics, the Process Series in partnership with UNC’s Department of American Studies will present a Storytelling Festival February 17-21 2021. Featuring performances and workshops features thirteen Native American, African American, Asian American, Latinx and European American Storytellers.
- A Good Boy – A music theater piece in progress with music by AJ Layague and Marc Callahan (Assistant Professor of Music) with texts by Lynden Harris (Hidden Voices)—all in collaboration with stage director Kathy Hunter Williams (Dept. of Drama). The libretto draws on Harris’s interviews with the mothers, sisters, and children of men living on Death Row–men with whom the creative team has formed relationships over the years.
- Pickin’ for Progress – A documentary and community project focused on immigrant laborers on North Carolina farms, their struggle, the union organizers fighting against their exploitation, and the inspiring folk music that has long been the soul of the movement. This is a project of Chair of Music Professor David Garcia, musician Joe Troop, filmmaker Rode Diaz (Iximche Media), organizer Emily Rhyne (Witness for Peace), Institute for the Study of the Americas Associate Director Hannah Gill, and producers and documentarians Anthony Simpkins and Tim Duggan of GemsOnVHS.
Read about all the projects that have received Critical Issues support thus far.