Mellon Foundation Awards .3 Million to American Council of Learned Societies to Continue Its Digital Justice Grant Program

Program Supports Digital Humanities Projects Focused on the Histories and Cultures of Historically Marginalized Communities

NEW YORK, May 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) has been awarded a $3.3 million grant by the Mellon Foundation to continue its Digital Justice Grant Program. The extension grant will support the program for an additional three competition cycles, beginning with the next competition which will start accepting applications in September 2023.

Launched in 2021, the ACLS Digital Justice Grant Program supports digital projects across the humanities and interpretative social sciences that engage with the interests and histories of people of color and other historically marginalized communities. Specifically, the program addresses persistent inequities in access to tools and support for digital work among these scholars, those working with non-traditional materials, and those based at higher education institutions with fewer resources available to support humanists working with digital techniques. This new iteration of the program will also seek to fund projects that engage in capacity building efforts, including but not limited to: pedagogical projects that train students in digital humanities methods as a key feature of the project’s content building practice; publicly engaged projects that develop new technological infrastructure with community partners; and trans-institutional projects that connect scholars across academic and cultural heritage institutions.

“The ACLS Digital Justice Grant Program provides critical support and resources to scholars in fields that challenge the historical legacies of settler colonialism, racial capitalism, and heteronormativity,” said Keyanah Nurse, ACLS Program Officer for Higher Education Initiatives. “These grants stimulate more inclusivity within digital humanities by extending the opportunity to a broader assemblage of scholars and projects, many of whom navigate weak infrastructural support. With an added emphasis on capacity building, we hope this new iteration gives reviewers a more nuanced understanding of the contexts in which scholars at less resourced institutions pursue their work.” 

The ACLS Digital Justice Program will continue to offer both Seed and Development Grants to promote and provide vital resources for projects that diversify the digital domain, advance justice and equity in digital scholarly practice, and contribute to public understanding of racial and social justice issues. For exploratory, experimental, and other early-stage work, Digital Justice Seed Grants will offer $10,000$25,000 to support planning workshops, prototyping, and testing of projects. For projects that have advanced beyond the prototyping or proof-of-concept phase, Digital Justice Development Grants of $50,000 to $100,000 will support activities to enhance impact and promote uptake and engagement among targeted communities of users. As in its pilot year, grantees can also opt into tailored coaching from the Nonprofit Finance Fund to plan for the long-term stewardship and growth of their projects.

Questions? Contact [email protected].

Formed a century ago, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a nonprofit federation of 79 scholarly organizations. As the leading representative of American scholarship in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, ACLS upholds the core principle that knowledge is a public good. In supporting its member organizations, ACLS utilizes its $155+ million endowment and $37 million annual operating budget to expand the forms, content, and flow of scholarly knowledge, reflecting our commitment to diversity of identity and experience. ACLS collaborates with institutions, associations, and individuals to strengthen the evolving infrastructure for scholarship. In all aspects of our work, ACLS is committed to principles and practices in support of racial and social justice.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Mellon believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there. Through its grants, Mellon seeks to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. The Foundation makes grants in four core program areas: Arts and Culture; Higher Learning; Humanities in Place; and Public Knowledge.

SOURCE American Council of Learned Societies

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