Lehigh’s Africana Studies program has been awarded a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The three-to-one matching grant, announced in December 2015, will require Lehigh to raise $1.5 million over the next five years.
In 2011, Lehigh selected Africana Studies as its first academic “cluster,” bringing together faculty from English; history; religion studies; theatre; art, architecture and design; and journalism. The program has since developed powerful and socially relevant public programming, including a four-day conference in February 2015 that explored the life and legacy of Malcolm X.
The NEH funds will be used to create an endowment to expand the Africana Studies program at Lehigh, including enhancing curriculum, increasing public humanities initiatives and strengthening the program’s community partnerships to further explore public concerns and social justice issues related to race, politics, gender, religion and other areas. New initiatives will see faculty and students moving further into the public sphere, joining with local residents and other community partners in forums, town halls and public meetings to deliberate on local concerns that they can address together.
James Peterson, director of Africana Studies and associate professor of English
Monica Miller, assistant professor of religion studies
Susan Kart, assistant professor of art, architecture and design
Photos by Christa Neu and Stephanie Veto