For the fifth year, Delta State University has received major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks in American History and Culture program. Funding will allow the Delta Center for Culture and Learning to offer two week-long workshops focusing on the Delta’s rich cultural heritage in June and July of 2014. Each workshop will serve 40 K-12 teachers who will come from Mississippi and all over the U.S.
Dr. Luther Brown, director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning said, “The last time we did this we had over 400 applications, with participants coming from 47 states. This is a very exciting workshop and we hope to draw applicants from all of Mississippi and the rest of the country.”
Classroom teachers and librarians in public, private, parochial and charter schools, as well as home-schooling parents are eligible to participate. They will receive a stipend to assist with expenses and gather with leading humanities scholars and Delta State staff to develop powerful lesson plans relating to the Delta’s heritage and the heritage of their own home regions.
The workshops are titled “The Most Southern Place on Earth: Music, History and Culture in the Mississippi Delta.” Participants will travel throughout the Delta as they visit sites where significant events occurred. They will discuss and learn about issues involving civil rights and political leadership, immigrants’ experiences in the Delta, the Blues, the great migration, agriculture, and the Mississippi River, among other things. They will sample Delta foods, visit local museums and listen to the Blues. Field trips will roam as far as Greenville, Greenwood, Clarksdale and Memphis, with stops in between.
Participants can earn five graduate semester hours upon completion of the workshop.
Workshops will be held the week of June 22 and the week of July 13. Each begins on Sunday evening and runs through the following Saturday afternoon.
The Delta Center for Culture and Learning promotes the understanding of the heritage of the Mississippi Delta. It is the manager of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, a partnership between the people of the Delta and the National Park Service. The Center will be assisted during the workshops by faculty from the University of Mississippi, Sam Houston State University, the University of Memphis and other institutions of higher learning. Local Delta citizens will also tell their own stories and experiences.
There are only 17 Landmarks in American History and Culture topics offered during 2014. Their topics range from The American Skyscraper, to The Cold War Home Front in Southern California, to Crossroads of Conflict: Contested Visions of Freedom and the Missouri-Kansas Border Wars, with several workshops focusing on the Civil Rights Movement. A complete list can be found at http://www.neh.gov/projects/landmarks-school.html.
For more information about the Landmarks in American History and Culture workshops, visit the center’s website at http://deltacenterforcultureandlearning.com/neh-workshop/ or contact the DSU Delta Center for Culture and Learning at 662-846-4311.
Caption: Dr. Luther Brown, director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning, with Dr. Julia Nguyen, a program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington D.C. Nguyen is originally from Natchez.