Amplifying the Inclusive Stories of Virginia Women & Girls

The Rosel Schewel Fund champions projects that tell the inclusive story of Virginia women. Specifically, through the lens of intersectional feminism, the fund supports projects that expose and amplify women’s lived experiences, movements, struggles, and achievements across the Commonwealth, honoring Rosel Schewel’s commitment to equality.


Named to honor the vision and leadership of Virginia Humanities’ longest-serving board member, the mission of the Rosel Schewel Fund is to champion projects that tell the inclusive story of Virginia women. Specifically, through the lens of intersectional feminism, the fund supports projects that expose and amplify women’s lived experiences, movements, struggles, and achievements across the Commonwealth, honoring Rosel’s commitment to equality.

Since our founding in 1974, Virginia Humanities has explored and shared the stories of Virginia, including those that highlight the history and cultural contributions of women in the state. This commitment is one that Rosel Schewel passionately shared, and one that she advanced both as a member of the Virginia Women’s Cultural History Project Advisory Committee and as chairwoman of the Virginia Humanities Board.

The Rosel Schewel Fund builds on that legacy by making it possible for us to support exciting, new women-led and women-focused projects.

Thanks to an anonymous donation of $100,000 and in honor of Rosel Schewel’s activism in Lynchburg and throughout the state, Virginia Humanities began programming associated with this fund in the fall of 2020 to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Contributions to the Rosel Schewel Fund in any amount are encouraged. Our goal is to reach $500,000, which will yield $25,000-40,000 annually to support women’s programming in the public humanities.

The Rosel Schewel Fund will support grant projects, fellowships, symposia, podcasts, residencies, author visits, and more—serving audiences of all ages in communities across Virginia.


A brief list of the types of programs the Rosel Schewel Fund has supported

To Dwell in Possibility: Virginia Women Remaking the World (2020 Webinar Series)


Past Virginia Humanities Programs by and About Women

  • Writing Women, Writing Resilience: Virginia Festival of the Book virtual event with Susan Abulhawa, Peace Adzo Medie, and Diane Zinna (March 2021)
  • A Woman’s Place: With Good Reason radio episode on women activists (March 2021)
  • Grant to support Unladylike 2020 episode, Maggie Lena Walker: Civil Rights Activist and Entrepreneur, on PBS’ American Masters (March 2020)
  • Virginia Humanities fellowship awarded to Karen Chase to research the contributions of Eliza House Trist and Eliza Lucas Pinkney to America’s founding (2019)