University awarded $30,000 UNCF/Mellon grant


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (August 14, 2014) — Thanks to a $30,000 grant, Tuskegee University will be able to help other institutions to enhance Black History Month programs. The United Negro College Fund and Andrew W. Mellon Programs awarded Tuskegee University Archives the grant to sponsor a UNCF/Mellon Teaching and Learning Institute. 

"We are very grateful for this initial grant with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. As a Mellon undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate Fellow, I am personally looking forward to an ongoing relationship with Mellon programs as the foundations assists Tuskegee University in putting the "A" in its nationally and globally-recognized "STEM" programs, said Dr. Brian L. Johnson, Tuskegee University president. “The arts and humanities will ultimately boost the university, as a whole, with much needed “STEAM” in its overall research program and increasing enrollment, retention and persistence."

Archives are for the people

In December, the university will host several archivists from 10 other UNCF institutions and help teach them how to use their resources to expand Black History Month programs beyond recognition of prominent historic figures and/or important Civil Rights events. Entitled “Interwoven Stories: How Archives Can Be Used to Bolster Black History Month Programs and Beyond,” the week-long institute will help archivists enrich their offerings and increase engagement by including local individuals and events. 

Tuskegee archivist, Dana Chandler, said he and his staff strive to include local stories and figures as part of their programs. They also engage with the university and external communities as well as use social media to expose as many people as possible to the Tuskegee University Archives. 

“Our archives are for everyone,” Chandler said. “We’re an archive for the people.”

In addition to learning how to incorporate community history, Tuskegee Archives staff will help the group of archivists enhance areas such as: program development, education outreach, using social media, identifying pertinent collections, and digitizing materials for use on websites and social media. Chandler said the university’s archive staff has much to share, especially in the areas of materials digitization and methodology. 

“This program establishes Tuskegee University Archives as a leader among HBCU archives,” Chandler said. “The practices that are going to be taught are going to be for the benefit of everyone.”

© 2014 Tuskegee University

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