Back 49 organizations in 24 states receive grants under LOA’s Lift Every Voice initiative

Library of America is proud to announce that it has awarded forty-nine libraries and other institutions in twenty-four states grants for public programs as part of Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters—a national public humanities initiative dedicated to enhancing appreciation of the extraordinary range and richness of the 250-year-long African American poetic tradition.

Lift Every Voice is presented by Library of America with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Emerson Collective. Its principal objective is to engage participants in a multifaceted exploration of African American poetry, the perspectives it offers on American history and the struggle for racial justice, and the universality of its imaginative response to the personal experiences of black Americans over three centuries.

A total of $58,800 was awarded to public libraries and other institutions in the form of $1,200 stipends to support public programs centered on a core selection of poems that illustrate five humanities themes at the heart of the project. Poets and scholars will participate in all programs, which will be presented from September 2020 through February 2021 and will be free and open to the public

Lift Every Voice coincides with the publication in September of African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song, a major new Library of America anthology edited by Kevin Young, who also serves as principal humanities advisor on the project. Young is the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library, which will host a national launch for the initiative on September 17, 2020.

A list of the grantees appears below, ordered by state.

Birmingham Public Library, Birmingham
Miles College, Fairfield
Emmett O’Neal Library, Mountain Brook
Tuscaloosa Public Library, Tuscaloosa

Fayetteville Public Library, Fayetteville
Central Arkansas Library System Foundation, Little Rock
John Brown Watson Memorial Library, Pine Bluff

California State University, Fresno
University of California, San Diego, La Jolla
Smith Library, West Coast Ultrasound Institute, Los Angeles
Los Angeles Public Library, Studio City

University of Delaware Library, Newark

Tavares Public Library, Tavares

Fulton County Library System, Atlanta

University of Chicago Library, Chicago
Downers Grove Public Library, Downers Grove
Galesburg Public Library, Galesburg
Poplar Creek Public Library, Streamwood

Jefferson Township Public Library, Jeffersonville
Tippecanoe County Public Library, Lafayette
Muncie Public Library, Muncie

Loras College Library, Dubuque

Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans
Southern University at New Orleans

Bard High School Early College, Baltimore
Morgan State University, Baltimore
Wicomico Public Library, Salisbury
Albert S. Cook Library, Towson University, Towson

University of Michigan, Flint
Jackson District Library, Jackson
Salem-South Lyon District Library, South Lyon

University City Public Library, University City

New Jersey
Princeton Public Library, Princeton

New York
Leonard Lief Library, Lehman College (CUNY), The Bronx
Poughkeepsie Public Library District, Poughkeepsie
Uniondale Public Library, Uniondale

North Carolina
Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh

Corban University, Salem

Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell
Wilkinsburg Public Library, Wilkinsburg

South Carolina
South Carolina State University, Orangeburg

University of Houston, Clear Lake, Houston
Tarrant County College District, Fort Worth

Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, Charlottesville
ASALH, Hampton Roads Chapter, Newport News
Suffolk Public Library, Suffolk

Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee

Whatcom County Library System, Bellingham

University of Wyoming Libraries, Laramie

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