Humanities Now
June 2021
"A New Day"
by Synthia Saint James
History Hurts, History Heals

Have you heard of Juneteenth? Many people are unfamiliar with the holiday because it is not taught in many schools. It is a gap in the telling of our nation's story. When black people were emancipated after the Civil War, freedom did not come for all. Some blacks were still enslaved, were not freed, did not even hear of their freedom for two years. It is unimaginable, but true. So why do we not speak of this? Why do we not speak of the Tulsa race massacre of 1921, the worst case of racial violence in American history, the murder of 300 black citizens and destruction of the wealthiest black community in the U.S.? This I know. History cannot be erased, it lives in the hearts and minds of people, and is passed down from generation to generation. We should not be afraid to learn about things that are unfamiliar, painful, or even shameful.  It is not the sum of who we are. History does not make us; we make history. Juneteenth is not a black holiday commemorating injustice; it is an American holiday celebrating freedom. It is a testament to the resilience of people, and our nation's democracy..."a nation that isn't broken...but simply unfinished." We have work to do. We can rise, rebuild, reconcile, and recover until "love becomes our legacy and change our children's birthright."* That is what the humanities can teach us, if we are only willing to listen. 

*The Hill We Climb, Amanda Gorman, Inauguration Poem 2021: 

Brenda Thomson
Executive Director
Welcome Arizona Humanities' Newest Board Members
Arizona Humanities is excited to welcome five new members to our Board of Directors.

Dr. Albrecht Classen, Regi Adams, Chris Boyer, Natalia Ronceria Ceballos, and Joe Ray join the Board and offer their guidance as scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, and beyond.

"For the first time in years, we have a full contingency on the Arizona Humanities Board of Directors," said board chair Dr. James Blasingame. "The new board members bring impressive credentials and experience with them. They also increase the diversity of the board, as well as our expertise in a grand variety of areas in the humanities."

He added: "We'll have our new board member orientation this week and our first Arizona Humanities Board of Directors Retreat with the whole board in August! We are in high gear!"

Stay tuned for a future press release to learn more about the new Arizona Humanities board members.
Representation Matters 
Miss the Representation Matters Programs? Watch the recordings!

How can we be more civically engaged? Why does representation matter? Catch up now on the Representation Matters series of conversations with scholars and leaders working in diverse fields-from journalism to law-about the importance of representation in our democracy.

Twenty-five audience members won copies of Danielle Allen's From Voice to Influence: Understanding Citizenship in a Digital Age as a giveaway for the event. You can learn more about the book here.

Due to popularity, the Representation Matters series is continuing! Stay tuned for upcoming programs.
UArizona's College of Humanities Receives $5.4M Endowment
Alumni Jacquelynn and Bennett Dorrance endow the deanship of UArizona's College of Humanities

"We are endowing the deanship because of our deep appreciation of Alain-Philippe Durand and his leadership as dean. We make this gift with the expressed intent to secure the College of Humanities, to help further the ideals of free speech and unity, and to strengthen the integration of traditional and cutting-edge approaches to humanities teaching and learning," the Dorrances wrote in a statement. 

Learn more here.
Book our new FRANK Talks
New FRANK Talks Topics!

Arizona Humanities is happy to announce eight new FRANK Talks:

June Programs
Attend virtual AZ Humanities Programs

AZ Speaks are 60-90 minute presentations hosted by non-profits, libraries, educational institutions, and governmental and tribal entities to engage the public in humanities-based topics. Click below to learn more.

FRANK Talks span 90-minutes and are highly interactive. The purpose is to connect people to one another to discuss current events.

The 1894 Lowell Expedition to Arizona June 8 at 11 AM MST | Co-Hosted by the City of Surprise

Coded Messages and Songs of the Underground Railroad June 15 at 5 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Eloy Santa Cruz Library.

Are you a non-profit, library, educational institution or governmental and tribal entity interested in hosting a program?

Visit our website to learn more about our exciting new list of topics. We can help you cross-market these programs to the public. 

To schedule a program or to learn more, contact Julianne Cheng at or call (602) 257-0335 x26.
Humanities Programs in the Community
Women of Color Leading Arizona

June 15 at 6:00 PM MST 

The final program in the series occurs on Tuesday, June 15 and will end with Dr. Irasema Coronado and Dr. Lisa Magaña as they present "Women of Color, Power and Politics in Arizona," which will expand on the influence of women of color in contemporary Arizona politics. Dr. Irasema Coronado is the Director and Professor of the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University. She has served on over ten nationally recognized boards and committees and has co-authored three books about the Mexican-American border and Latinas in local government. Dr. Lisa Magaña is a Professor in the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University. She specializes in immigration and Latino public policy and has published four books about the topic. Learn more about the Arizona State Library's event here.
The Goat Camp Ruin Project: Volunteer Archaeology in Central Arizona

June 17 at 7:00 PM MST 

Join retired Forest Service archaeologist J. Scott Wood as he tells about the Goat Camp Ruin project he has been conducting for the last 13 years for the Town of Payson in the highlands of central Arizona. this project eventually will result in this important Northern Salado site being developed for interpretation and incorporated into the Town's recreational trail system. Scott's presentation will walk you through the highlights of a decade's worth of excavation, the site's place in Payson area history, and the fate of the Northern Salado as they were caught up in the Great Drought of the late 13th century. Learn more about the Old Pueblo Archaeology Center's event here.
Creative Justice Youth Symposium

June 17 through June 18 

As the world awakens to injustice, we must all work together to build a strong foundation on which to rebuild a more just world. The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University is proud to sponsor the second annual Creative Justice Youth Symposium, Thursday through Friday, June 17 - 18, 2021 on Zoom. Each day will consist of a workshop and community open mic.
The symposium will center on creative writing as a skill for resilience and community building through workshops, panels, and community open mics. The symposium is open to youth ages 13 - 24. Learn more about the Virginia G. Piper Center's event here.
Bisbee Pride

June 18 through June 20

Bisbee Pride, Inc is a non-profit organization that produces and promotes educational, cultural and recreational events for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and extended community. Bisbee Pride supports other non-profits in the local and surrounding communities. Join Bisbee Pride this June for a weekend of fun in the old mining city! Learn more about Bisbee Pride here.
Steam in the Game Juneteenth Celebration

June 19 at 10:00 AM PST - June 20

The video gaming industry combined with a competitive sports surge to make over $180 Billion in 2020. Have you ever wanted to know what's behind the engine of the games or about the business of the gaming industry? Wait no longer. This summer camp will deliver the skills, knowledge, fun, and world renown creative technologies + an amazing amazing eSports Tournament with the pro's! Learn more about the Strong TIES event here.
Cotton weaving in Mesoamerica and the Northern US Southwest: A Study of Loom Parts and Weaving Tools across 1,000 Years and Two Continents 

June 21 at 7:00 PM MST

Cotton weaving traditions have tied the US Southwest with Mesoamerica for over a millennium. Archaeologists have traced the spread of cotton-weaving and backstrap-loom technologies from Mesoamerica, through the greater Southwest, and onto the northern Colorado Plateau in a journey that took centuries. The earliest evidence of backstrap loom-woven, cotton textiles in the northern Southwest appears in Ancestral Pueblo sites at about A.D. 900 and shows that backstrap-loom technology changed little during its spread northward, though it remained a rare practice until around A.D. 1100. This presentation discusses experiences and insights from Oaxaca gained from working with indigenous Puebloan and Oaxacan weavers and how it enriched interpretations of developments in weaving technology in the ancient northern US Southwest. Learn more about the  Arizona Archaeological Historical Society's event here.
Pandemic Booms and Busts

June 23 at 6:00 PM MST

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many local Arizona businesses, specifically restaurants, have struggled to adapt and operate during these ever-changing times. While the pandemic has impacted almost every industry, those impacts can look very different. While the restaurant industry suffered revenue losses, the real estate market experienced a boom with surging housing prices. Join us Wednesday, June 23rd, from 6-7 pm, to hear these contrasting pandemic stories from both restaurant owner Ruban Gonzales of Industry Phoenix and RE/MAX Scottsdale realtor Christine Espinoza. Hear their contradicting struggles and successes as local business operators during a pandemic and how they shifted strategies and overcame challenges. Learn about how pandemic stories like theirs and your own can be preserved in the "Journal of the Plague Year" digital archive to help future historians learn about this time. Learn more about the Arizona Historical Society's event here.
Humanities Across the Nation
National Endowment for the Humanities Appoints Briann G. Greenfield as Director of Preservation and Access
"We are delighted to welcome Briann Greenfield, who brings to NEH a wealth of experience in the study and conservation of material culture, museum and nonprofit management, and strategic planning," said NEH Acting Chairman Adam Wolfson. "We look forward to her dynamic leadership of NEH's Division of Preservation and Access." Learn more here.
Thank You to Our April Donors
James Blasingame*
Wendy B. Drew
Jill Ginsburg
Karl Kendall*
Andrew Krahe*
Debbie Nez-Manuel*
Eshé Pickett*
Almira Poudrier*
Tamika Lamb Sanders*
Crys Waddell*
American Online Giving Foundation, Inc.

*Board Member

Humanities Now is published monthly by Arizona Humanities.

About Arizona Humanities
Arizona Humanities is a statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the Arizona affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1973, Arizona Humanities has supported public programs that promote the understanding of the human experience with cultural, educational, and nonprofit organizations across Arizona.

Arizona Humanities builds a just and civil society by creating opportunities to explore our shared human experiences through discussion, learning and reflection.

To request this or any other agency publication in an alternative format, contact Arizona Humanities at (602-257-0335) or email

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