New Jersey Council for the Humanities Executive Director Carin Berkowitz, PhD, and Board President Dan Fatton penned an op-ed titled “Creating a more inclusive history of the Garden State” published April 8 on njspotlightnews.org.
The op-ed highlights the efforts of NJCH and other state humanities councils to facilitate humanities work in communities that have traditionally been left out or marginalized in America’s broader story, with a net effect of democratizing our histories and stories.
“Amid much louder and seemingly intractable debates about critical race theory, elitism and expertise, state humanities’ councils and other bastions of public humanities are — sometimes quietly — going about the work of creating a more inclusive narrative.”
Among these efforts are NJCH’s Community History Program, which helps organizations without professional historians on staff learn how to do community-based history, as well as a year-long celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary. The series features many programs and events that foster discussion and consideration of the role the public humanities play in our everyday lives.
“While history can be a complex, and sometimes polarizing, topic, NJCH is striving to explore how the past influences the present, and hopes to foster deeper engagement throughout the state,” they write. “We feel that doing so will allow us to move beyond intractable and narrow debates, in order to build a more encompassing history on a local level.”