AHF receives NEH grant to support three-week civil rights institute for teachers

On July 29, 2020, The National Endowment for the Humanities announced $30 million in grants for 238 humanities projects across the country. The Alabama Humanities Foundation received $214,955 to support “Stony the Road We Trod…”: Exploring Alabama’s Civil Rights Legacy—a three-week institute for 30 schoolteachers on the history and

legacy of the civil rights movement in Alabama.

This will be the third iteration of the three-week institute. The “Stony the Road We Trod…” project has also offered many shorter, workshop versions of the institute’s curriculum. More than 1,300 educators have previously traveled to Alabama to experience “Stony…”, and Dr. Martha Bouyer, the project developer and director, is excited to continue to expand the project’s reach.

“The Stony Institute is designed to engage, educate and empower teachers to revolutionize teaching and learning,” said Bouyer. “With the support of renowned scholars, jurists, presentations by ‘Foot Soldiers’ of the movement and travel to key sites of memory such as Selma, Montgomery and Tuskegee, teachers will undertake an epic journey across Alabama designed to help them reconcile what they thought they knew about this era of history with knowledge, facts and the truth.”

After a rigorous application process, 30 educators will be selected as Summer Scholars to participate in the three-week institute. They will spend substantial time in Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery and Tuskegee as they learn more about the movement’s non-violent direct action and rural African American roots, as well as issues around racial segregation and Jim Crow.

They’ll visit museums and historic sites such as Bethel Baptist Church of Collegeville and Brown Chapel AME Church. They’ll also walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, tracing the steps of the marchers who were violently confronted by Alabama state troopers on Bloody Sunday.

Summer Scholars will learn from an experienced array of movement foot soldiers and renowned civil rights scholars. This year, Dr. Danielle McGuire, author of At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Race and Resistance, will join the group for the first time.

The Summer Scholars will receive a stipend to help cover their expenses for the institute. They will also be expected to take what they learn and share it with other educators at conferences as well as through the creation and dissemination of new curricular units and lessons plans focused on their “Stony the Road We Trod…” Institute experiences.

“As we continue to confront issues surrounding racial justice in our country, programs like “Stony…” are absolutely vital to creating more understanding of our past, so that we may build a better future,” said Judge John Rochester, interim executive director at Alabama Humanities Foundation. “We are delighted to receive this grant in support of an immensely impactful and already proven project.”

For more information, visit www.stonytheroad.org.