Indiana Humanities recently gave more than $70,000 in grants to 77 schools, libraries, universities and nonprofits across Indiana to expand their collections that are centered around the topics of racism, race and the Black experience.
“A lot of schools and libraries are asking for these materials,” Blair said. “Often times schools and libraries don’t have the financial resources to acquire them, so having this grant makes it easier to obtain those items and spark questions and dialogue.”
According to Blair, Indiana Humanities wanted to refrain from making the grant “competitive,” which is why the organization simplified the process. Schools and nonprofits completed an application and chose from the list of titles Indiana Humanities provided. The list includes 400 titles of books and films. The organization worked with three subject matter experts to add to its current list of titles.
One of the schools that received the grant was Deer Run Elementary, which was awarded $996. More than 55% of students at the Pike Townships school are African American.
“Our students should be able to find books that reflect who they are,” Deer Run librarian Kristin Macbais said. “I feel like my students need to be well informed of what our past was and what our current situation is as well.”
Macbais said the school used the funding to purchase books and films that students can relate to and see themselves in. A few of the books Macbais choose were “A is for Activist,” “All Are Welcome,” “What’s Racism,” “African Icon” and “A Right to Remember.”
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