$500k Grant from Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation to Support Virginia HBCU Humanities Research

Charlottesville, Virginia— Today, Virginia Humanities announced a $500,000 grant from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation to help support research by Black and Indigenous scholars, and other scholars of color who are affiliated with Virginia’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), including their alumni outside Virginia and at non-HBCU institutions.

James R. Chapman, executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Dominion Energy says “We’re honored to support Virginia Humanities and worthy scholars across the Commonwealth as they pursue research that will help shape a more equitable future. This grant builds on our long record of support for HBCUs and inclusivity in the communities we serve.”

The new, non-residential HBCU fellowships will support scholars at their home institutions without the requirement of previous Virginia Humanities fellowships that recipients relocate to Virginia Humanities’ office at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville or to the Library of Virginia in Richmond. Supporting scholars where they are will lessen the inequities many BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) scholars face as they work to prioritize research amidst the demands of higher education and related service.

“These non-residential fellowships give HBCU-affiliated humanities scholars the much-needed time and funding to devote themselves more fully to their research and writing,” says Dr. Lauranett Lee, public historian and visiting lecturer at the University of Richmond and member of Virginia Humanities’ board of directors. “With the ever-present demands in higher education, service-related responsibilities, and familial duties, BIPOC scholars, in particular, are hard pressed to sustain and complete their professional aspirations. These fellowships represent an investment in equitable higher education opportunities by the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.”

The non-residential fellowships will fund research and writing by as many as ten scholars for a period of six to nine months. To be eligible, scholars must either be currently affiliated with or an alumnus of a Virginia HBCU.

“Virginia State University is delighted that Virginia Humanities is providing this non-residential fellowship opportunity made possible by the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation,” says Virginia State University President Makola M. Abdullah. “Prominent in the Strategic Plan of the University is our emphasis on research and scholarship of both faculty and students. We are eager to immediately involve our scholars and students in this vital initiative to help support research by Black and Indigenous scholars, and other scholars of color who are affiliated with Virginia’s historically Black colleges and universities.”

Fellowships will be awarded through a competitive application process beginning as early as the fall of 2021. It is expected that successful projects will explore the intersection of traditional humanities disciplines (history, philosophy, religious studies, gender studies, sociology, and anthropology) with public humanities issues such as equity concerns and social disparity. Each fellow will give a public presentation of their work either virtually or in-person, once it is safe to do so. Further, fellows will be invited to share their work with the public through other Virginia Humanities programs including the nationally-broadcast weekly public radio show With Good Reason and Encyclopedia Virginia, an online archive of Virginia’s history and culture.

Application details will be found at VirginiaHumanities.org when available.

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About Virginia Humanities
Virginia Humanities is the state humanities council. We’re headquartered in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia, but we serve the entire state. We aim to share the stories of all Virginians—or, better yet, find ways for people to share their own stories. We want Virginians to connect with their history and culture and, in doing that, we hope we’ll all get to know each other a little better. Founded in 1974, we are one of fifty-six humanities councils created by Congress with money and support from the National Endowment for the Humanities to make the humanities available to all Americans. To learn more, visit VirginiaHumanities.org.

About the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation
More than 7 million customers in 16 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D). Through its Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, as well as EnergyShare and other programs, Dominion Energy contributed more than $58 million in 2020 to community causes. The Foundation supports nonprofit causes that meet basic human needs, protect the environment, promote education, and encourage community vitality. Please visit DominionEnergy.com to learn more.


For further information: Trey Mitchell, Virginia Humanities, 434-882-3627, treym@virginia.edu