ACLS Community Message for December 2021
For everyone celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoyed a festive meal and some well-deserved time off. Today, in keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, your inboxes may be filled with messages about Giving Tuesday, a significant day for philanthropy around the world that has generated billions of dollars of support since 2012. ACLS is one of the many worthy organizations participating in this initiative, which started here in New York.
All of us at ACLS are grateful to the hundreds of community members who choose to give in support of our work each year. Many of these donors are past fellows and grantees, appreciative of the support they received for their dissertation, their first book, or travel to visit archives or complete fieldwork. I’m grateful to have met many awardees who have told me about the impact that their ACLS grant or fellowship has had on their life and career, often changing their trajectory in important ways.
Today, thanks to the generosity of our foundation partners, these scholars also advance humanistic understanding through their work in policy, media, and cultural organizations as Mellon Public Fellows and Luce and Mellon Leading Edge Fellows. Their work broadens the impact of an ACLS fellowship and we are thrilled that so many fellows continue to illuminate meaningful career paths beyond the academy long after their ACLS-funded stints. We salute the achievements of fellows and grantees who bring their talents to high school teaching, government, media, and many other fields.
We’re proud of our ability to work fast to create programs such as the Emerging Voices Fellowship, which pairs recent PhDs with substantive teaching and administrative placements at our Research University Consortium member schools. But we can only do this work through the generosity of the individual donors over past decades who have helped build our endowment. Those funds supports the full spectrum of our work in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.
Each year, we provide more than $25 million in funding for hundreds of humanistic scholars. Our awardees are more diverse than ever, and we will continue to develop and expand programs that represent our commitment to inclusive excellence. Joy Connolly
Each year, we provide more than $25 million in funding for hundreds of humanistic scholars. Our awardees are more diverse than ever – this year’s Emerging Voices Fellowship cohort is comprised of 80% scholars of color and 60% first generation scholars – and we will continue to develop and expand programs that represent our commitment to inclusive excellence.
I also want to thank the many dozens of reviewers each year whose keen insights guide the selection process for our fellowships and grants. Many of our reviewers are also donors, having witnessed first-hand the amazing depth and breadth of humanistic scholarship that our competitions attract. We’re deeply proud that the people who see what goes on behind the curtain, so to speak, show their trust by choosing to give to ACLS.
Whether or not you are able to support us with a gift today, in the future, or some other way, we are all grateful that you are part of our community, helping us to advance our work in a time of so many challenges.
With gratitude, and best wishes for a happy holiday season,
Once the World Was Perfect
By Joy Harjo
Once the world was perfect, and we were happy in that world.
Then we took it for granted.
Discontent began a small rumble in the earthly mind.
Then Doubt pushed through with its spiked head.
And once Doubt ruptured the web,
All manner of demon thoughts
We destroyed the world we had been given
For inspiration, for life—
Each stone of jealousy, each stone
Of fear, greed, envy, and hatred, put out the light.
No one was without a stone in his or her hand.
There we were,
Right back where we had started.
We were bumping into each other
In the dark.
And now we had no place to live, since we didn’t know
How to live with each other.
Then one of the stumbling ones took pity on another
And shared a blanket.
A spark of kindness made a light.
The light made an opening in the darkness.
Everyone worked together to make a ladder.
A Wind Clan person climbed out first into the next world,
And then the other clans, the children of those clans, their children,
And their children, all the way through time—
To now, into this morning light to you.
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