Hinds Community College Utica Campus has been awarded a share of federal humanities funds to help finance programs to highlight the campus’ contribution to Southern Black Education.
Four closely related projects scheduled for 2022 include:
- Introduction to Bioethics: a special topics course with an emphasis on vaccine hesitancy and an examination of moral questions surrounding rapidly emerging technologies in medical science. Partners in developing the course include consultants from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the Mississippi Department of Health, Auburn University and Tuskegee University’s National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care.
- Symposium on the Little Tuskegees: As a “little Tuskegee,” the Utica Institute (the forerunner to the current-day Utica Campus) was uniquely positioned to help improve the lives of those in Mississippi’s Black Belt through an emphasis on land ownership and community connections. With its longstanding partnership with the Tuskegee Archives, the campus is proposing virtual and in-person symposiums and a series of joint research panels with 16 Utica and Tuskegee faculty participants. Both will provide publication opportunities for faculty researchers and undergraduate students to do their own academic research.
- Archives Digitization and Processing: The college will build its archival collection of early catalogs, Farmer’s Conference programs, teacher education materials and student scholastic records from the early days of the Utica Institute. The effort will also introduce undergraduates to archival work and careers in the humanities.
- Exhibit Development: The Utica Farmers’ Conference: Each year, Utica Institute founder William Holtzclaw invited prominent guest speakers such as George Washington Carver to talk with local farmers about modern farming practices. The college will highlight the close connection between it and the community by seeking funds for a new museum exhibit focused on the conference, one that will feature indoor and outdoor components and be designed in conjunction with the Agricultural Science program.
Humanities students Edward McMillan, Jakyra Anderson and Tyren Casnave work to digitize the Utica Scholarship Record, which dates to when William Holtzclaw led the Utica Institute.
The Utica Campus’ share of funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities totals $234,372 and is part of a larger allocation to the federal agency from the American Rescue Plan of 2021 totaling $87.8 million. The funds have been awarded to nearly 300 cultural and educational institutions nationwide to help them recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, retain and rehire workers, and reopen sites, facilities, and programs.
The National Endowment for the Humanities was created in 1965 as an independent federal agency and supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. For more information, visit neh.gov.