Humanities Now
May 2021
What Mothers Know

When you have six kids, three girls and three boys, you basically never sleep.  You make 30 lunches, and get kids to piano lessons, little league, choir practice, basketball, girl scouts, dance, babysitting, and the list goes on. You sew clothes, you comb hair, you teach little people how to be in the world. My mother sent me to school with flowers and an apple for my teacher. From the first day she wanted that teacher to remember me. When I was invited to a party by a little girl that no one knew, my mother took me there. I was the only one that came to the party. We had a lovely time. I made a new friend. My mother saw the beauty in me, with braces and glasses, and no date for the prom. When I was afraid, she held my hand. She taught me to be brave and kind. My mother is older now. She calls me every day, but sometimes forgets why she is calling. She says she is checking up on me, to make sure that I do not work too hard. I do work too hard. Sometimes I am afraid, and sometimes I am brave, but I am always kind. For me, Mother's Day, is every day. 

Brenda Thomson
Executive Director
Book our new FRANK Talks
New FRANK Talks Topics!

Arizona Humanities is happy to announce eight new FRANK Talks:

Our Grantee
"Ready to Launch: Arizona's Place in Space"
All Systems Go for New Space Exhibition at the Arizona History Museum

Start the countdown! "Ready to Launch: Arizona's Place in Space" is coming to the Arizona History Museum in Tucson. This new exhibition investigates the impact that the people, landscape, and universities in Arizona have played in space exploration. "Ready to Launch: Arizona's Place in Space" will open Thursday, May 20, 2021, and run through November 30, 2021. Learn more here.
May Programs
Representation Matters

How can we be more civically engaged? Why does representation matter? Join us for a series of conversations with scholars and leaders working in diverse fields-from journalism to law-about the importance of representation in our democracy. These virtual events are FREE and will include time for live Q&A with the community.
Dr. Karen J. Leong
Who is American? The Story of Chinese Americans in the United States 

May 6 at 6:00pm MST

Chinese Americans have a long and complex history in the United States. Chinese people first immigrated to the U.S. in 1815. Since then they have contributed to all aspects of American life, business, science, arts, culture and more. Despite over a century of contributions Chinese Americans are often still treated as outsiders. When do immigrants become Americans? What does it mean to be an American citizen? Who gets to decide? How has the question of who is American changed over time? Join us as we explore the story of Chinese immigrants and their path to citizenship and civil rights in the United States. Register here.
Dr. Joshua Sellers
Who Gets to Vote? A Discussion of Voting Rights Today 

May 13 at 6:00pm MST

Dozens of new voting measures have been introduced this year in Arizona's state legislature. Why do these voting bills matter? What impact might they have on the right to vote? How exactly does the electoral process work and what will it look like in the future? This virtual conversation will explore voting rights in the US from the past to present day and shed light on our electoral process. Register here.
Coming Soon! 
Your Vote Counts 

Adrian Fontes

May 19 at 6:00 PM MST

Why is voting in the news every day? What is the current voting process for Arizonans? How has the experience of voters in our state changed and what will it look like in the future? Join us for a conversation with former Maricopa County Recorder, Adrian Fontes, who can answer your questions about the registration and voting process, technological changes, the experience of voters from all backgrounds, and why voting matters in our democracy. 

Building Community in a Digital World: A Conversation with Danielle Allen

May 26 at 6:00 PM MST

We are delighted to present award winning Harvard University professor Dr. Danielle Allen for the final program in the  Representation Matters series. "We are struggling to find our way in a world that has been transformed rapidly since the arrival of social media," observes Dr. Allen. Online communities and social movements born in the digital age are calling for changes to the social, political, and economic systems in place. So what does "We the People" from the U.S. constitution mean today? What happens when governmental structures don't represent our values?  How can we work together to build community and make decisions that shape the world we live in? Dr. Allen will lead us in a timely and thought-provoking conversation about what it means to be engaged citizens now.

More information about these upcoming events and registration links will be announced soon! For the latest updates, check our Representation Matters webpage!
Girlhood as a Vessel of Grief: 
A Poetry Reading and Conversation
Join us for a poetry reading and moderated conversation with poets Susan Nguyen and Bo Schwabacher on Thursday, May 20 at 6:00 PM MST. This virtual program will also include a Q&A with the audience.

What does it mean to grieve girlhood? To remember a life not long ago lived?

The poems in Susan Nguyen's forthcoming collection, Dear Diaspora, are equal parts joy and grief, response and remembrance. Centering on a speaker named Suzi, the collection draws from the Vietnamese diaspora to unravel questions of identity, selfhood, and American adolescence.

The poems in Bo Schwabacher's collection, Omma, Sea of Joy and Other Astrological Signs, glimmer with an honest introspection, centering on her adopted Korean experience to reveal the intricacies of identity, abandonment, and family love.

Register here.

About the Speakers:
Susan Nguyen earned her MFA in Poetry from Arizona State University, where she won the Aleida Rodriguez Memorial Prize and fellowships from the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. In 2018, PBS NewsHour named her one of "three women poets to watch." Her work appears in diagram, Tin House, and elsewhere. Her first poetry collection, Dear Disapora, won the 2020 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and will be published in September 2021. Find her at

Bo Schwabacher is a South Korean adoptee. Born in South Korea, she was adopted at three-months-old. Bo grew up in Illinois. Her poems have appeared in Cha, CutBank, diode, Redivider, Sweet Tree Review, The Offing, and others. Omma, Sea of Joy and Other Astrological Signs, published by Tinderbox Editions, is her debut collection of poems.
Attend Virtual AZ Speaks Programs

Virtual 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.

Fixing the U.S. Constitution:  What Needs Changing, How and Why May 6 at 5:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Mohave Community College-Lake Havasu City.

Pershing's Chinese:  Asylum Seekers Amid Chinese Exclusion May 25 at 4:00 PM MST | Co-Hosted by the Arizona State Museum, The University of Arizona.

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
Arizona Women's Hall of Fame 2021 Virtual Induction Celebration
May 6 at 3:00 PM MST
Join the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame for their 2021 Induction
 Celebration of some of the state's most amazing women:
  • Katie Lee,
  • Jane Dee Hull,
  • Mary Black,
  • Margie Emmerman,
  • Lucía Martínez,
  • Gerda Weissmann Klein,
  • Barbara Barrett,
  • Armida Guereña Bittner. 
The Arizona Women's Hall of Fame was initiated in 1981 by the Office of the Governor and the Arizona Women's Commission to pay tribute to
 the remarkable women who have played a significant role in the history of this state. Learn more here.
Women of Color Leading Arizona

May 11 at 6:00 PM MST

The next program in the Capitol Museum's series takes place on Tuesday, May 11 and features speakers Dr. Yvonne de la Torre Montiel and Dr. Miguel Montiel, co-authors of the upcoming book, World of Our Mothers: Mexican Revolution Era Immigrants. Together they will share the largely forgotten stories of women who immigrated to the U.S. during the era of the 1910 Mexican Revolution. Dr. Yvonne Montiel taught at South Mountain Community College where she co-founded the Dynamic Learning Teacher Education Transfer Program. Dr. Miguel Montiel has co-authored several books pertaining to diversity changes in American universities, as well as community globalization within the United States. The two have been married for fifty years. They co-founded the Resolana Southwest Institute. Learn more here.
Art for Justice: An Evening with Reginald Dwayne Betts

May 13 at 5:00 PM MST

Join the University of Arizona Poetry Center for an Evening with Reginald Dwayne Betts, introduced by Joe Watson and hosted by Literary Director Diana Delgado. Betts will read and have a conversation with Delgado as part of the Institute for Inquiry and Poetics. The convening's theme is Art for Justice. Learn more here
Surviving The 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda

May 14 at 10:00 AM MST

Emmanuel Habimana from Kigali, Rwanda, was nine years old at the time of the Rwandan genocide. He is now a filmmaker, public speaker, and activist who engages audiences on the topics of genocide, forgiveness, and dealing with trauma. According to his press release, "His work began as a youth activist in Kigali where he collaborated with peers to assist other orphans of the 1994 Tutsi Genocide." Learn more about the Arizona Jewish Historical Society's event here.
Wartime Resisters of
Conscience at the Catalina Federal Honor Camp on Mt. Lemmon

May 13 at 7:00 PM MST

The Catalina Federal Honor Camp located on the Catalina Highway  from Tucson up to Mt. Lemmon housed prisoners who were largely responsible for building the highway. These prisoners were a part of a prison reform movement and the good roads movement in American history during the 1930s. During World War II, a different set of individuals were sentenced to work at the Catalina prison. These were resisters of conscience. Prominent among them were Gordon Hirabayashi, other Japanese Americans who came to call themselves the "Tucsonians," Hopi, and Jehovah's Witnesses. This presentation will explain why these individuals became resisters of conscience, and how their prison experiences shaped their understanding of their own wartime citizenship. Learn more about Old Pueblo Archaeology Center's event here.
Does America Really Want To Be A Nation Of Immigrants?

May 20 at 6:00 PM MST

What lessons can we draw from historic shifts in American immigration? Has the United States ever been the nation of immigrants that it purports to be? And in our polarized times, can we fashion a new national identity that embraces immigrants and their families? Learn more about ZÓCALO's event here.
HistoriCorps Workforce for Saving Places: Palace Station

May 30 - June 4, 
June 6 - June 11

The Senator Highway once served as a primary stagecoach thoroughfare for central Arizona, serving primarily miners and related industries. The Spence family, newly arrived from Missouri in 1875, saw opportunity and constructed the two-story Palace Station in the years following. By 1878 the Station was being advertised as a stagecoach stop. They served meals to travelers, and feed and water to horses. Our partners on the Prescott National Forest have invited HistoriCorps volunteers to do the hands-on work necessary to preserve the cabin, so it can be opened as an overnight rental for the public. Learn more about HistoriCorps' event here.
This Preservation Month, Tell the Full American Story

Since 1973, the National Trust joined the preservation movement in celebrating historic places during May. This year, they're focusing Preservation Month on telling the full American story, offering a wide variety of ways to discover and save places that showcase the depth and diversity of our nation's history. Learn more about the National Trust for Historic Preservation's event here.
Humanities Across the Nation
NEH Announces $24 Million for 225 Humanities Projects Nationwide

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $24 million in grants for 225 humanities projects across the country. These grants will support a diverse range of exemplary humanities projects, including Audio History Project, a podcast series that uses archival audio recordings to illuminate forgotten stories about individuals and events from twentieth-century American history and culture, and Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade, an online repository that documents the lives of individuals who were enslaved, owned slaves, or participated in the historical slave trade. Learn more here.
Thank You to Our April Donors
James Blasingame*
Roberta W. Buchanan
Evan Burks
Jeffrey Cohen
Linda D. Cottrell
Mark Homan
Maria Johnson
Karl Kendall*
Janice Klein
Andrew Krahe*
Debbie Nez-Manuel*
Roberta Medina
Eshé Pickett*
Almira Poudrier*
Crys Waddell*
Ron & Eduarda Yates
American Online Giving Foundation
*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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