AMERC Faculty and Mentor Grants for the 2021-22 academic year.
In the spring of 2020, the AMERC Board moved to become proactive in celebrating the rich history and diversity of Appalachia. We affirmed the diverse and complex ecosystems in 205,000 square-mile region that runs from Southern New York to Northern Georgia.
We recalled the Cherokee and other First Nation’s stories of creation. We celebrated the rich diversity of the people who dwell in these cherished mountains.
The history of Appalachia is often limited to the stories of white settlers’ place-making in the mountains. As a result, many people have come to believe that Appalachia is home to an analogous white population. Missing from our history books are the names of the first Americans who were forced from the mountain land. Missing from our memories of the African women and men who were “stolen away from the motherland” that settlers might build the famed Kanawha (West Virginia) salt industry.
As Appalachian scholar Danielle Dulken writes, “To indulge in an illusion of a homogeneous white geography has harmful consequences. Namely, it erases the histories of Native and Black and Brown people who live in the mountains of Western North Carolina and beyond. Dulken’s statement rings with truth. People of color have had a profound impact on the economy and social landscape of Appalachia. Tragically, their stories are seldom told.
AMERC is pleased to announce five grants that will be awarded to faculty members teaching in our consortium schools or are staff members of our denominational member organizations. These grants may be used towards new research or as a part of ongoing studies in the following areas:
Again, these proposals may be unique to these grants or a part or ongoing research or projects.
We have much work to do in honoring and celebrating the diversity of our beloved Appalachian Mountains. We are offing these grants in celebration of AMERC’s 36 years of resourcing theological education in the mountains.
Danielle Dulken, “A Black kingdom in postbellum Appalachia,” Scalawag (9 September 2019).
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