Voices and Votes Electoral Engagement Project

Our democracy demands action, reaction, vision, and revision as we continue to question how to form “a more perfect union.”

How do we participate in government and make our voices heard? From the revolution and suffrage, to civil rights and casting ballots, everyone in every community is part of this ever-evolving story—the story of democracy in America.

Voices and Votes Electoral Engagement Project (VVEEP) is supported by a $50,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation administered through the Federation of State Humanities Councils for its new initiative entitled “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation.” This initiative explores civic participation as it relates to electoral engagement in a multivocal democracy: Maryland Humanities is one of 43 state and jurisdictional humanities councils to receive this funding. Programming consists of three components: outgoing grants, an oral history collection, and an author event.

This project is funded in part by the “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

  • Voices and Votes Electoral Engagement Support Grant Awards

    Voices and Votes Electoral Engagement Support Grants were awarded to support projects engaging and benefitting Marylanders, on such topics as voting during a pandemic, suffrage, the power of protest, voting rights, voter suppression, contested elections, and ideological polarization, social media and democracy, rural/urban divide in voting, the electoral college, and voter apathy. All events will take place on or before March 31, 2021.


    Allegany College of Maryland
    Grant Award: $1,000
    Allegany County

    Allegany College of Maryland will host a local community artifact day for residents in the region to bring in letters, diaries, pictures, and articles related to voting, the women’s suffrage revolution, and civil rights.  The event, planned in partnership with the Allegany Museum, will be held at the Allegany College of Maryland Library. Digitized artifacts will be integrated into a companion exhibit on display during the tour of the Smithsonian traveling exhibition, Voices and Votes.

     

    Allegany Museum
    Grant Award: $1,000
    Allegany County

    Allegany Museum will host a local community artifact day for residents in the region to collect photos and documents related to protests, marches, and demonstrations. The event, planned in partnership with the Allegany College of Maryland, will capture family photos and documents on a wide variety of issues to be digitized and integrated into a companion exhibit on display during the tour of the Smithsonian traveling exhibition, Voices and Votes. Digital files collected will be preserved at the Western Maryland Regional Library.

     

    Bold Beautiful Brilliant Girls Youth Empowerment Group
    Grant Award: $1,539
    Prince George’s County

    As a part of Bold Beautiful Brilliant Girls Youth Empowerment Group’s mentorship program, youth will learn about the processes used to suppress the votes of Black people, the Electoral College, and the 15th and 19th Amendments. The mentees will then collaborate and create a webpage on the bbbyeg.org site for younger audiences to visit and explore. This page will be used to educate and empower the mentees’peers to learn about and reflect on the current state of our democracy.

     

    Global Health and Education Projects, Inc.
    Grant Award: $2,000
    Prince George’s County

    Global Health and Education Projects will host a one-day voter education webinar on Google Meet called “U.S. Elections 101: Key Similarities and Differences for Immigrant Communities.” This workshop will educate members of minority and immigrant communities on the key aspects of U.S. elections, including the Electoral College, rules for voter eligibility, resources for voter registrations, and understanding the differences between the U.S. electoral system and systems in Africa and Latin America.

     

    Queen Anne’s County Historical Society
    Grant Award: $2,000
    Queen Anne’s County

    As part of the Museum on Main Street project for hosting Voices and Votes, Queen Anne’s County Historical Society will host conversations with residents that will be included in a companion exhibit. A diverse range of residents will participate with local officials and organizations to learn more about town and county civic processes, annual calendar of events, and local boards and to develop civic participation plans.

     

    March on Foundation
    Grant Award: $2,000
    Anne Arundel County

    March on Maryland will host the first virtual Women’s Unity March in January 2021. Utilizing an online platform, the event will offer dynamic speakers, workshops, and community discussions in every area of justice. This event is an opportunity to bring together local grassroots organizations and citizens from around the state.

     

    Marietta House Museum
    Grant Award: $1,520.60
    Prince George’s County

    Dr. Julie Rose, Marietta House Museum manager, will host an online workshop to kick off the “Giving Voice Initiative,” a public history approach to convene community partners to interpret, teach, and inspire social justice. In this workshop, participants will investigate sensitive ways and strategies to engage visitors with difficult histories, by considering stories of African American disenfranchisement as an example of how to responsibly and sensitively engage learners in upsetting and controversial history.

     

    Maryland Women’s Heritage Center and Museum
    Grant Award: $2,000
    Baltimore City

    The Maryland Women’s Heritage Center and Museum will host a virtual panel, “The Next 100 Years: Continuing the Work of our Maryland Foremothers,” to explore issues and strategies for promoting a stronger, more equitable democratic process. The panel will consider what it takes to ensure every individual understands civic responsibilities, including voting, thinking critically about legislation, advocating for change, and considering opposing viewpoints.

     

    Patapsco Heritage Greenway
    Grant Award: $1,975
    Howard and Baltimore Counties

    Patapsco Heritage Greenway will be collecting oral histories to preserve and interpret community stories that highlight voting rights and experiences. A virtual workshop will focus on best practices for oral history, including conducting oral histories virtually, community archiving, and inclusive practices in oral history. The aim is to assist heritage area partners in engaging the full range of diverse voices and perspectives in communities and to construct a more inclusive story of civic participation that fosters engagement in the present.

     

    Preservation Maryland
    Grant Award: $2,000
    Baltimore City (Statewide)

    Preservation Maryland launched a multi-media public history project, “Ballot & Beyond: The Legacy of the Suffrage Movement on Voting Rights,” to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment ratification that enfranchised American women with the right to vote. Preservation Maryland will expand Ballot & Beyond content with four new PreserveCast podcast episodes and engaging videos based on eight existing audio essays.

     

    Prince George’s County Memorial Library System
    Grant Award: $2,000
    Prince George’s County (Statewide)

    The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System and Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission will host a three-part extension of their “Voting: Democracy in Action” virtual event series. The three events will: 1) discuss the diversity of the Hispanic and Latinx communities and how that is reflected in elections, 2) the role of immigration and individuals’ immigration status on inhibiting participation in our democracy, and 3) explore modern attempts to suppress Black votes and how communities can protect against those efforts on the local and state level.

     

    Susanna Wesley House, Inc.
    Grant Award: $1,000
    Baltimore City

    The Susanna Wesley House will host a virtual event—Susanna Wesley and Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration—on January 24, 2021 to educate attendees on democracy in America and how it works.

  • Maryland Voices Story Collection Project
    Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street and Maryland Voices programs and The Peale will collaborate on a story collection project in conjunction with the upcoming statewide tour of the Smithsonian traveling exhibition, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America. The exhibition will tour five Maryland regions, and each host venue will record interviews with newly minted voters (ages 18–24) in each community creating a total of 30–40 high-quality shareable digital videos. These stories will be shared through the Peale’s “Be Here Stories” app, at a listening station that will become part of the Voices and Votes exhibition, and elsewhere.
  • Maryland Center for the Book Author Event
    Maryland Center for the Book (MCFB) will host a prominent author whose work will engage Marylanders and open up conversation about civic participation. Look for the announcement of the author and date, with instructions for free registration, in an upcoming eNews.
Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.
Maryland Humanities
108 West Centre Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-4565
(410) 685-0095
(410) 685-0795 fax
info@mdhumanities.org
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