As part of the the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Bridging Cultures initiative, “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” will encourage communities across the country to revisit the history of civil rights in the United States and to reflect on the ideals of freedom and equality that have helped bridge deep racial and cultural divides in American life. Scheduled to launch in 2013 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this program will offer a packaged set of NEH-funded films on Civil Rights history to as many as five hundred communities across the nation over three years (from 2013 to 2016). Four powerful documentary films (The Abolitionists, and Slavery by Another Name, and Freedom Riders, and The Loving Story) will be accompanied by in-depth programming resources to help guide productive community discussions.
Deeply grounded in humanities scholarship, these films tell a remarkable story—about the importance of race in the making of American democracy, the power of individuals to effect change, and the historical contexts in which Americans have understood and struggled with ideas of freedom, equality, and citizenship. The documentaries address events from the 1800s through 1965, and several themes resonate among these films: the search for equal rights as defined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the roles of individuals and grassroots groups in bringing about a more just society, and the evolving understanding of democracy and freedom in the history of the United States.
Selected libraries, museums, historical societies, and other nonprofit cultural organizations will receive:
- a boxed set of four NEH-funded films, on DVD, for public programming and library use;
- a grant of up to $1,200 to support public conversations and programming around the project themes;
- a robust site-support notebook both in print and online, with tools for planning public conversations about the themes in the films;
- a guide for each film annotated to identify short clips for programming use;
- access to the Created Equal website hosted by the NEH;
- programming support throughout the grant period; and
- an orientation webinar for site coordinators and scholars/facilitators—participants will engage with a scholar and learn about interpretive materials, public relations, and logistics.
Visit the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle website to find out more and to apply by May 1, 2013.