Brooklyn Institute for Social Research Awarded Humanities Council Grant to Launch New Community Initiative

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research (BISR) is pleased to announce that it has received a $5,000 Action Grant from the New York Council for the Humanities to support the BISR Community Initiative, a new program that offers educational opportunities to some of New York’s most underserved citizens. BISR will work in conjunction with Breaking Ground, a non-profit organization that provides supportive housing to the formerly homeless and those facing housing insecurity, to offer a series of courses to residents free of charge beginning in the summer of 2016. These courses, beginning with a seminar on James Baldwin, will offer students an opportunity to engage in rigorous discussions about issues ranging from identity to human agency and the nature of artistic production. Each course will also feature a writing workshop component that encourages students to reflect on class themes and connect them to their own life experiences. Interest in and access to a humanistic education are not always aligned. BISR is committed to countering the notion that the humanities do not provide “useful” knowledge or that the deepest forms of intellectual engagement are the sole right of a privileged few. In the words of BISR’s Executive Director, Ajay Chaudhary, “our Community Initiative is a natural extension of our core mission to lower the barriers of access to high quality education, and we are thrilled to be able to partner with Breaking Ground on this project.”

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