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Africana Studies Public Humanities Initiative

June 30, 2017
$500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant awarded to the Africana Studies Program at Lehigh University.
$16,146 raised
$13,854 to go
Project Deadline Passed Stamp

Established more than 20 years ago, Africana Studies opened a new chapter in 2011, when it became one of Lehigh’s first interdisciplinary academic clusters. The cluster approach brought together scholars and faculty in English, history, religion studies, theater, journalism, and art, architecture, and design. This investment in faculty yielded rapid growth for the Africana Studies program, which today draws hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students to the classroom, and thousands of students to programs, from across the university.

In December 2015, Lehigh’s Africana Studies program was awarded a prestigious $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency that funds high-quality research, education and public programs at colleges and universities, museums and other institutions across the United States. The three-to-one matching grant will require Lehigh to raise $1.5 million over the next five years and will culminate in a $2,000,000 endowment for Africana Studies.

Africana Studies has developed a reputation for powerful and socially relevant public programming. Actively working with our community partners, including local high schools, churches and our local PBS affiliate Africana Studies is producing programs in the community that serve local students, leaders, and educators. Recent programming has included activist and filmmaker Bree Newsome, the second annual Africana Studies Conference, and the 2016 Tresolini Lecture featuring Cornel West, which drew more than 1,000 attendees.

Your support of the Africana Studies Public Humanities Initiatives Program Endowment Fund will help to strengthen connections with community residents and partners by establishing a new Community Visions Program. The Program Endowment Fund will provide for forums, town halls, and public meetings about concerns that Africana Studies and the public can address together.

For any additional questions or if you are looking for ways to become more engaged, please contact Kelly Stazi, Director of Development, by phone or email.
(610) 758-2824 or

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