Challenge Programs: Humanities Access Grants

Period of Performance

10/1/2017 - 9/30/2020

Funding Totals (matching)

$100,000.00 (approved)
$100,000.00 (offered)
$50,000.00 (awarded)

Conversation Toward a Brighter Future

FAIN: ZH-258469-18

Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (Edwardsville, IL 62026-0001)
Jessica DeSpain (Project Director: May 2017 to May 2024)

The creation of an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on digital storytelling to engage high school students in Madison County, Illinois, in the study of intergenerational communication.

Underserved student populations in Madison County, Illinois, identified intergenerational conflict as their most pressing concern at the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities Foundation 2017 Conversation Toward a Brighter Future summit. The IRIS Center for the Digital Humanities, in partnership with MJCHF and the Madison County Regional Office of Education, will develop a humanities curriculum for a new iteration of the program that addresses these concerns. In collaboration with area teachers they will create a course of study incorporating novels, music, art, and oral histories that explores adolescence, adulthood, and aging. Building on what they learn in the classroom, students will have the opportunity to participate in digital storytelling studios to construct personalized narratives that foster conversation within their communities about how to communicate better across generational divides.

Media Coverage

Conversation Toward a Brighter Future Program Bridges Community Through Shared Stories (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Megain Weiser
Publication: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Blog
Date: 5/16/2019
Abstract: Coverage of the Spring 2019 Conversation Toward a Brighter Future 2.0 Summit where students shared their digital stories in a gallery format.

"Maybe Life is Only Stories:" SIUE's DeSpain Talks Bridging Generational Divides Through Digital Storytelling (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Megan Weiser
Publication: River Bender
Date: 12/6/2018
Abstract: News coverage of Dr. Jessica DeSpain's Going Lecture that featured detailed discussion of the Conversation Toward a Brighter Future 2.0 Program.