Published September 15, 2020

In an effort to advance racial justice, nonprofits in South Hampton Roads are invited to apply for a new grant opportunity for programs on race and the history of race in the region.

These one-time grants are a part of the “Beneath the Surface” initiative launched by the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and Virginia Humanities in 2019. This program seeks to advance personal understanding and community dialogue about race and the history of race in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach.

 “Racial equity plays a critical role in moving our region forward and ensuring equitable opportunities for all,” says Vivian Oden, vice president for special projects at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.

David Bearinger, director of Virginia Humanities’ grant program says understanding our past is instrumental in making change in the present. “This grant program is not just about looking honestly at the past, as important as that is. It’s also about understanding how the past has shaped these communities in the present, and what kind of future lies ahead,” he said. “We welcome proposals from organizations representing every part of South Hampton Roads.”

Projects exploring the following themes are encouraged:

  • The history of race as it pertains to the five cities of South Hampton Roads
  • The continuing impact of systemic racism, enslavement, legally enforced segregation, the ideologies of white supremacy, and/or race-based laws and policies on the region
  • Stories of resistance and achievement against the backdrop of racial segregation, prejudice, inequality, inequity, and exclusion
  • Concerns of African American people and communities in South Hampton Roads, especially the experience of anti-Black racism

Proposals may use a variety of formats, including virtual arrangements. Projects must follow Commonwealth of Virginia and/or CDC guidelines for social distancing in all grant-supported activities and applicants are being encouraged to consider virtual formats as alternatives to in-person gatherings until the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus subside. 

Two online information sessions are planned for October 14 and October 22. Information on how to register for these sessions will be provided at VirginiaHumanities.org/grants when available.

Most grants will range from $5,000-$10,000. Applications must be received by December 1, 2020. For more details and to apply, visit VirginiaHumanities.org/grants.

About Virginia Humanities

Virginia Humanities is the state humanities council. We aim to tell the stories of all Virginians—or, better yet, find ways for people to tell their own stories. We want to connect Virginians with their history and culture and, in doing that, help bring us all a bit closer together. Virginia Humanities is headquartered in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia, but our work covers the Commonwealth. Founded in 1974, we are one of fifty-six organizations created by the National Endowment for the Humanities to make the humanities available to all Americans. To learn more visit VirginiaHumanities.org.

About Hampton Roads Community Foundation

The Hampton Roads Community Foundation is southeastern Virginia’s largest grant and scholarship provider. Since 1950 it has awarded more than $301 million in grants and scholarships to make life better in Hampton Roads.Learn more at www.hamptonroadscf.org.

About Beneath the Surface: Race and the History of Race in South Hampton Roads

Beneath the Surface is a civic engagement partnership between the Community Foundation and Virginia Humanities. The goal of this initiative is to deepen awareness of the role race and racism play in issues confronting the region, and to lay groundwork for positive transformation.

Our work brings people together and honors our shared humanity.