For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Kerri Young, Communications Manager, email@example.com
September 27, 2023—(Oakland, CA)—The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has named California Humanities as a funding recipient for its United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture initiative, which will support local programming to help combat the destructive effects of hate on our democracy and public safety.
Launched in coordination with the White House United We Stand Summit in September 2022, United We Stand is a joint initiative of the NEH and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) that leverages the arts and humanities to combat hate-motivated violence.
“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.”
In collaboration with Zócalo Public Square, a nonprofit that hosts national public forums, California Humanities will use public presentation and civic dialogue to combat hate through a series of four programs that foster understanding, empathy, and resilience.
Titled What Connects Us, Resilience Against Hate, the series will explore food and cooking in Mexico as an act of resistance; gentrification and the preservation of culture in LA’s Crenshaw neighborhood and the role of a Black history museum inside the city’s So-Fi stadium, and the history of white supremacy in the Inland Empire.
“As a Los Angeles-based, national creator of accessible and broad-minded conversations, Zócalo Public Square is proud to partner with California Humanities on a series of public programs to try to better understand—and counter—the country’s increasingly divisive rhetoric and the violence it fuels,” said Zócalo Executive Director Moira Shourie. “In our increasingly polarized public sphere, we believe that bringing citizens together around urgent questions and big ideas strengthens mutual understanding, protects the spirit of democracy, and helps us envision a better future for our communities.”
What Connects Us programming launched in September 2023 and will continue into the summer of 2024.
California Humanities’ programming with Zócalo is a national effort across a network of state and jurisdictional humanities councils, totaling up to $2.8 million, that were selected during this round of funding.
“As a majority minority state, California encompasses diverse cultural traditions and perspectives,” said Rick Noguchi, President and CEO of California Humanities. “In that spirit, we must combat hate-based violence and extremism through the humanities, which play a critical role in developing empathy and strengthening respect and mutual understanding by connecting us through stories and shared experiences. California Humanities views its participation in this national conversation, in collaboration with Zócalo Public Square, as an important initiative to advance equity and help dismantle social and cultural oppression.”
To learn more about California Humanities’ programming around United We Stand, visit calhum.org/united-we-stand.
California Humanities, a statewide nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, promotes the humanities—focused on ideas, conversation, and learning—as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect people to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more, visit calhum.org, or like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
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