North Carolina Humanities Council Wins Mellon Foundation Grant for Media Literacy Project

North Carolina Humanities Council Wins Mellon Foundation Grant for Media Literacy Project

Funding for statewide humanities programs that examine what it means to be an informed citizen

CHARLOTTE, NC (January 17, 2018) – The North Carolina Humanities Council has been awarded a $35,000 grant through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its yearlong initiative, Journalism and Media Literacy: Fostering Informed Citizens.

“With today’s fast-paced 24 hour news cycle, this special initiative will explore the role the media and journalism have in illuminating historical, social and ethical issues critical to a flourishing, democratic society,” said Paula Watkins, North Carolina Humanities Council Executive Director. “Using dynamic programming formats, Journalism and Media Literacy will provide event and program opportunities for educators, students and the general public across the state.”

Journalism and Media Literacy is part of a national initiative made possible by a $1.7 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to the 56 member councils of the Federation of State Humanities Councils.  [s1] 

“Our special initiative comes at a critical time in history, as it has become imperative that our citizens have access to the tools necessary to help distinguish truth and learn to adapt to technology in this digital age,” Watkins said. “We are pleased to support statewide public humanities programs that will educate citizens on media literacy and explore the intertwined history of journalism, media and democracy. Through support from the Mellon Foundation and Federation, our programs will reach both rural and urban areas of North Carolina with diverse participatory opportunities for all.”

With scheduled programming to begin in May 2018, cultural organizations and individuals have two opportunities to engage with the Council’s initiative:  

  • $1,000 Community Micro-Grants: To support conversations, workshops and other humanities projects that highlight the interrelated nature of information and democracy. Applications are due by February 16, 2018.
  • Road Scholars:The Council’smost established and beloved program is accepting new lecture and discussion proposals related to their 2018 initiative. Applications are due by February 2, 2018.

Leveraging the Council’s established networks of partnerships around the state and beyond, these additional Council supported programs and events are forthcoming:  

  • Teen media literacy workshop with I AM not the MEdia. The Charlotte-based nonprofit is a leading organization on media education for teens and young adults.  
  • Journalism Summits: In early 2019 convenings in Charlotte and the Triangle will explore how journalism aids in creating informed citizens.

  • Webinars and an online courses for educators: Acquiring critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports and information sources. A collaboration with the National Humanities Center.

  • Support for a plenary presentation from a national headline speaker at  SC Humanities’ fall 2018 event with Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.

Journalism and Media Literacy: Fostering Informed Citizens follows two successful statewide special initiatives by the North Carolina Humanities Council; Pulitzer NC: The Power of Words, a 2016 celebration of the centennial of The Pulitzer Prize, and  Journey in the New South: Conversations on the Legacy of Race and Ethnicity in North Carolina in 2017.

The North Carolina Humanities Council thanks the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.

For more information or to apply for current 2018-2019 offerings, visit  

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA HUMANITIES COUNCIL: Through grantmaking and programs such as “Let’s Talk About It” and “Road Scholars," the North Carolina Humanities Council advocates for lifelong learning and thoughtful dialogue about all facets of human life. The Council is a non-profit agency governed by a diverse board of trustees, and is the state affiliate program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Many Stories, One People. Additional information at