Inclusion and Public Humanities


Inclusion and Public Humanities: A Convening

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
February 3, 2023

The Inclusion Imperative at the Dresher Center for the Humanities at UMBC and the National Humanities Alliance hosted this convening to consider the power of inclusive and community-engaged humanities work. Colleagues from a range of institutions connected and explored how they use the humanities to promote practices of inclusion, community engagement, and social justice.

At the convening, we thought together about the challenges of doing this work and shared strategies for moving forward. We also considered how we might join together in the future to build a shared humanities community of practice devoted to inclusion and social justice in the region.

We shared experiences, learned from each other, exchanged resources, brainstormed strategies and solutions, and considered how a regional network might help us support each other in this ongoing work.



10:00 a.m.

Kimberly R. Moffitt, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, UMBC

Jessica Berman, Director, Dresher Center for the Humanities, UMBC

Beatrice Gurwitz, Deputy Director, National Humanities Alliance

Younger Oliver, Higher Education Research Manager, National Humanities Alliance

10:30 a.m.
Opening Activity

Connect with colleagues from around the mid-Atlantic region.

11:00 a.m.
Lightning Round 1: Partnering with Communities 

View presentations here

In 3-5 minute presentations, each presenter explored the following questions: How have you and your institution partnered with community members and organizations to build shared knowledge? How have the tools of the humanities helped you address issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice together?


Robin E. Bates, Professor of English and John M. Turner Chair in the Humanities; Program Director for the Applied and Public Humanities Minor, University of Lynchburg, and
Lisa Crutchfield, Assistant Professor of History, University of Lynchburg

Earl Brooks, Assistant Professor of English, UMBC

Natasha Cole-Leonard, Associate Professor of English and Honors Program Director, Community College of Baltimore County

Mary Foltz, Associate Professor of English and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Co-Director of the South Side Initiative, Lehigh University

Sarah Fouts, Assistant Professor of American Studies and Director of the Minor in Public Humanities, UMBC

Slangston Hughes (Victor Rodgers), National Slam Champion and Artistic Director, DewMore Baltimore, and
Patrick Oray, Literature Faculty, Bard High School Early College-Baltimore

11:45 a.m.
Lightning Round 2: Practicing Inclusive Humanities
View presentations here

In 3-5 minute presentations, each presenter explored the following questions: How has work in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accommodation become central to the way you practice the humanities? How can attention to DEIA bring issues of equity and social justice into the center of the work we do?


Pamela Barnett, Dean of Arts and Sciences, La Salle University

Monica A. Coleman, John and Patricia Cochran Scholar for Inclusive Excellence and Professor of Africana Studies, Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Africana Studies, and Coordinator for the African American Public Humanities Initiative, University of Delaware

Drew Holladay, Assistant Professor of English, UMBC, and
Sharon Tran, Assistant Professor of English, UMBC

Michael Hunt, Director, McNair Scholars Program, UMBC, and
Amy Tondreau, Assistant Professor of Elementary Literacy, UMBC

Sabah F. Uddin, Assistant Professor of Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies, Bowie State University

1:00 p.m.
Charting a Path Forward

Through a series of activities and discussions, the afternoon was dedicated to 1) connecting with colleagues from around the region to learn from one another’s challenges and successes in publicly engaged and inclusion-focused humanities work and 2) envisioning a robust regional network that supports you and your work.

2:45 p.m.
Closing from the Dresher Center and the National Humanities Alliance

Presenter Biographies

Information for registered attendees:

DIRECTIONS TO UMBC. Directions to the UMBC campus and a campus map may be accessed here. Parking for visitors will be available in Lot 8 immediately across Hilltop Road from the Performing Arts and Humanities Building (PAHB). More visitor information is available here.

MASKING POLICY. All convening sessions will take place masked, with microphones provided so speakers can be heard. Morning refreshments and lunch will be provided in the atrium outside the Theatre Rehearsal Studio. The current campus COVID-19 guidelines are available here.

IN CASE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER. The convening will follow UMBC guidelines for inclement weather, which you can find here. If the campus opens late, the start time and schedule of the day may be adjusted.

ALSO, attendees are invited to bring along brochures or handouts to share with other participants (this is optional). A table will be available in the atrium.

AFTERWARD. A recording of the lightning round sessions will be posted on the Inclusion Imperative website after the event. Information gathered in the afternoon sessions will be shared with registered attendees after the convening via a Google Doc.

Please contact Younger Oliver, Higher Education Research Manager, National Humanities Alliance, and Viridiana Colosio-Martinez, Inclusion Imperative Program Associate, UMBC with any questions.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, UMBC, and the National Humanities Alliance. The Inclusion Imperative is supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Dresher Center for the Humanities, National Humanities Alliance, Mellon Foundation