The Henry Luce Foundation is excited to announce 39 new grants totaling $12.75 million. This slate of projects will strengthen emerging and evolving areas of study, amplify underrepresented voices, and expand our understanding of pressing social challenges. The projects highlighted below, in addition to all those recently awarded, demonstrate the Foundation’s commitment to community-engaged scholarship and collaboration, developing early-career leaders, and expanding educational resources and capacity.
Lifting up underrepresented voices and ensuring that all communities have the resources and opportunities to benefit from the knowledge they create continues to be a priority for the Luce Foundation.
A variety of supported projects bridge scholarship and local advocacy as they strive to foster understanding and collaboration between diverse groups. A grant to the United States Heartland China Association will support the organization’s ongoing work to build constructive U.S-China relations by connecting government and business leaders from both regions and creating spaces for college students in the U.S. and China to engage with one another and share stories about intercultural living. “Lifeways of Hope,” a new initiative at Morgan State University’s Center for the Study of Religion and the City, will convene diverse knowledge makers–including academic researchers, museum curators, community activists, and spiritual leaders–to reimagine how universities and museums represent and engage with religion. And the University of California, Merced–which, with Luce support, has established a community-based research program for doctoral students in the humanities–will expand the program’s reach throughout the university and the surrounding community.
The American Art Program selected four organizations for the second cohort of Museum Partners for Social Justice, all of which have or are in the process of reimagining their engagement with Native American objects in their collections and the communities from which they come. The Denver Art Museum will pair with the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) as the DIA plans for reinstallation and interpretation of its Indigenous arts collection. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts will partner with the Joslyn Art Museum (JAM), as JAM engages Indigenous communities to present the complex histories and significance of Native art in just and meaningful ways.
As part of our long-term investment in the growth of future leaders, the Foundation renewed its support for three leadership development programs:
Grants from multiple programs continue the Foundation’s longtime commitment to developing new resources in higher education and seeding emerging fields of knowledge creation.
Four grants awarded by the Luce Initiative on Southeast Asia will give voice to vulnerable communities, strengthen collaborative relationships with regional partners, and build new institutional capacity at Southeast Asian institutions and in parts of the U.S. where there is a gap in coverage of Southeast Asia. These projects include a documentary film training program in Cambodia, research and training on the socio-ecological vulnerabilities of Southeast Asian river delta regions, exploration of connections between Southeast Asia and the American Southeast, and examination of the intersection of development, environment, and health in Southeast Asia. The projects are described in more detail here.
In concert with our investments in Indigenous knowledge leaders, we awarded two grants that focus on building infrastructure for language preservation and perseverance, a critical foundation of Indigenous culture and community. A grant to the University of Alaska Fairbanks will support the Alaska Native Languages Center, and an award to Northeastern University will grow the Digital Archive of Indigenous Language Persistence—in which Luce was an early investor.
Lastly, the Foundation awarded a grant to PEN America, a writers’ organization that has taken the lead in raising awareness about recent efforts by state lawmakers to limit academic freedom at colleges and universities. Grant funds will ensure that they can continue to monitor legislation and advocate on behalf of free expression.