Tuesday, December 5, 2023

$825K in COVID Cash Paid for Historians Studying Anti-Racism

'recording the experiences and rebellious ideas that inform the ordinary lives of women who are invisibilized when not stereotyped... '

(Headline USA) More than $800,000 in federal COVID-19 aid went to “under/unemployed oral historians” researching anti-racism and “Latinx” histories, because apparently that’s what caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and hospitalizations.

The funds came from Democrats’ American Rescue Plan Act, which they passed in March 2021 without any Republican support, reported Fox News. As part of the package, the National Endowment for the Humanities received $135 million.

The organization announced several months later that it had allocated $87.8 million of those funds to “nearly 300 cultural and educational institutions to help them recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, retain and rehire workers, and reopen sites, facilities, and programs.”

Many of those “cultural and educational institutions” had nothing to do with COVID-19, Fox News found. The Oral History Assocation, for example, received $825,000 in COVID-19 funds for a grant-making project called, “Diversifying Oral History Practice: A Fellowship Program for Under/Unemployed Oral Historians.”

The program reportedly provides 11 year-long fellowships of $60,000 each for oral historians “from communities which have been historically marginalized in the field,” such as “Indigenous peoples, people of color, people with disabilities, and working class people.”

One of the grant’s recipients was Elizabeth Castle, a “Shawnee-ancestored anti-racist educator,” who was brought into the program to create “A Collaborative Oral History of the Fight Against Mineral and Uranium Mining in the Black Hills, the Origins of the Global Indigenous Movement, and the Ongoing Struggle to Protect the People who Protect Mother Earth.” 

Another recipient, Virginia Espino, received a grant to explore the “intimate histories of working class Latinx, Afro-Latinx and Indigenous people in Los Angeles with the goal of recovering and recording the experiences and rebellious ideas that inform the ordinary lives of women who are invisibilized when not stereotyped.”

Colette Denali Montoya-Sloan, another recipient, received the $60,000 grant to develop an oral history of  “collective emotional, intellectual, and spiritual experience of creating” the new Visitor Contact Station at the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in northern Maine.

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