The Mississippi Humanities Council awarded $86,430 in grants to sixteen organizations across the state at its October 13 board meeting. A summary of the funded projects follows.
Oxford Film Festival
Oxford Film Festival Screening and Discussion on Restorative Justice
Partnership with the William Winter Institute to observe Black History Month with a screening of a film about the Restorative Justice movement, which works to combat racial discrimination in schools by addressing trauma that often leads to misbehavior and delinquency.
Jackson State University
Angie Thomas: The Hate U Give and Young Adult Social Action
Angie Thomas, author of young adult novel The Hate U Give will headline a community forum at Jackson State University discussing social justice issues. Thomas will also lead a workshop with JSU creative writing students on the steps for successful publication.
Jackson State University
A Place for All People
An exhibit from National Museum of African American History and Culture, highlighting key artifacts in the Museum's collection that tell the story of the African American experience will be mounted at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, with a gallery talk by Dr. Deborah Mack, associate director of the NMAAHC, where it will remain for two weeks before moving to the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman and then returning to the Margaret Walker Center at JSU. It will then be made available for any public library, museum, cultural institution, college campus and prison in the state of Mississippi.
Mississippi Museum of Art, Inc.
Keynote for "Bringing Forward the Past: Art, Identity, and the American South" Symposium
Interdisciplinary symposium exploring issues related to identity, race, indigeneity and memory.
Delta State University
Delta State University's Winning the Race Conference 2018
Fifth annual conference to promote dialogue about race and race relations, an initiative of the University's president, Dr. William LaForge. The 2018 conference will focus on educational outcomes for children. MHC funds would support a "High School Leadership Forum" as part of the conference, examining issues of race and education with youths. This component addresses the recent integration of the local school district's historically segregated high schools.
Delta Hands for Hope
MLK Youth Weekend
MLK gathering for Delta middle- and high-schoolers to examine issues of race, service and friendship. Youths will be recruited through area churches. Activities will include dialogues, workshops, readings and journaling around the subjects of race, race relations, civil rights and Mississippi history.
Performance of a play, "Beautiful Agitators," followed by a community discussion around themes addressed in the play, including voting rights, police violence and civil rights education. Date and location for this event are not specified.
Mississippi Rising Coalition
Dialogue on Race in Mississippi
Dialogue series in all three Coast counties, examining racism in our culture. Two six-week series (two hours of discussion per week) will take place in Jackson, Harrison and Hancock counties, led by trained race dialogue facilitators
New Hope Baptist Church
"Back in the Day" Black History Celebration
Annual ecumenical Black History Celebration. The 2018 celebration features Greenwood native, Dr. Tonea Stewart, actress and dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Alabama State University. Stewart will talk about the importance, as a black actress, of choosing her roles carefully to provide positive representations of African American characters on film and on stage.
Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs, Inc.
Behind the Big House program and tour (2018)
Annual educational tour of former slave dwellings, and related programs, offered in conjunction with annual pilgrimage of historic homes in Holly Springs.
University of Southern Mississippi
Ben Jonson, Our Contemporary
Public performance of Renaissance dramatist Ben Jonson's (a contemporary of William Shakespeare) comedy "Volpone," as a means of emphasizing the enduring relevance of Johnson's work and demonstrating the educational value of "original practices" performance.
Artists for Community Transformation
Mississippi Yearning: Beyond "Finding Cleveland" Documentary
Expansion of the documentary, Finding Cleveland, about a Chinese American man who learns the history of Chinese immigrants living in the Mississippi Delta between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries while tracing his forbearers' lives there. The film is currently 14 minutes; MHC funding would support expanding the film to 40 minutes.
University of Mississippi
The Twenty-Fifth Oxford Conference for the Book
Annual literary conference based on the University of Mississippi campus. The 2018 conference will explore a range of topics, from the desegregation of public libraries, the role of long-form journalism in our current news environment and award-winning poetry to the Latino experience in the American South.
Washington County Library System
Literary Arts in the Delta Festival
Inaugural literary arts festival in March 2018 celebrating achievements by local artists including screenwriters, playwrights, songwriters, book illustrators, poets, publishers, novelists, magazine and newspaper editors and more.
Copiah-Lincoln Community College Foundation
Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration 2018: "Southern Gothic"
Annual literary and cinema festival. The 2018 festival will focus on "Southern Gothic" elements in scholarly literature, popular fiction, biography and history.
Springboard to Opportunities
Hearing the Past, Shaping Our Future
Student oral history project interviewing veterans of the Civil Rights Movement. Youths will also research the Civil Rights Movement, write biographies about their interview subjects and prepare presentations for a public event at Smith Robertson Museum in Jackson in May 2018.