Oklahoma Humanities - October 10, 2023 2:07 pm

Fostering connections and understanding through the arts and humanities

OKLAHOMA CITY (October 10, 2023) — Oklahoma Humanities (OH) is proud to partner with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to combat hate and hate-motivated violence through their new initiative, “United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture.”

“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.”

OH received $50,000 and will support this important work on the local level through an expansion of OH-conducted programs and partner-led public events that will explore diverse themes and demonstrate the power of the arts and humanities to foster connections and understanding. “I invite all Oklahomans to join us in this endeavor, attend an event, and engage with the humanities,” said OH Executive Director Caroline Lowery. “When we listen to one another, we learn from one another.”

Council-conducted programs:

OH’s dynamic book club, Let’s Talk About It, will offer a curated collection of six reading and discussion themes in the spring of 2024, including two new themes developed specifically for this initiative by award-winning author Rilla Askew and Dr. Tracy Floreani, Director of Oklahoma City University’s Jeanne Hoffman Smith Center for Film & Literature.

OH has developed an initiative page on our website that includes a comprehensive list of upcoming initiative events, online scholar resources, and Oklahoma Humanities magazine articles that educate the public on the history of domestic extremism and hate-based violence while promoting civic engagement, information literacy, and social cohesion.

Partner-led public events:

The McBride Center for Public Humanities at the Oklahoma Christian University campus will host an event with bestselling non-fiction writer David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon, in advance of Martin Scorsese’s film adaptation that reveals the racial animus and greed behind the murder of Osage Nation citizens in the 1920s.

The First Americans Museum (FAM) will launch a K-12 access project to educate Oklahoma public and tribal students on the history of Indigenous genocide and forced removal while increasing cross-cultural awareness and empathy for Native experiences.

The Greenwood Rising History Center and the Greenwood Cultural Center will educate Oklahomans on the history of the hate-based, white supremacist-led Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 and its lasting impact on the city and its people.

The City of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Black History Museum will collect oral histories related to central Oklahoma’s All-Black Towns. The story of their disappearance is one of ongoing segregation, hostility, forced relocation, indifference, and violence.

The Oklahoma Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will launch an educational video presentation series and complementary digital toolkit that examines the history of Islamic culture and Islamophobia in Oklahoma. All resources and videos will be available for free online.

Learn more at okhumanities.org.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.


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