History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again. --Maya Angelou
The Conversations Bureau provides a selection of topics available for 90-minute discussions based on a brief text and guided by a scholar/facilitator. As part of our Civil War, Civil Rights, Civil Discourse project, each of our topics encourages participants to reflect on the outcomes of social and political divisions from the Civil War era to the present, and to consider the significance of these events to our current civic affairs. How have differences been solved in the past? Which outcomes are still being tested? What tensions are still palpable and how do they affect public life? Modeled after a program created by the New York Council for the Humanities, the Conversations Bureau cultivates thoughtful, engaging discussions within communities across the state.
Eligibility & Hosting Instructions
Any not-for-profit organization or high school in Tennessee is eligible to host a conversation. Humanities Tennessee covers the cost of the scholar/facilitator's honorarium and travel expenses. The Bureau is designed to serve Tennesseans who are not employed by, or enrolled in, post-secondary educational institutions; eligible conversations must be intended for and advertised to the general public and free of charge. Humanities Tennessee is especially interested in supporting those organizations that reach underserved audiences or regions.
For High Schools: Teachers or administrators from Tennessee public or private high schools may apply to host a Conversation. Schools are not required to have an outside audience. Rather, the conversation must be geared to a school-based audience (students, teachers, faculty, administration, parents, or any combination of these groups). Each Conversation in Humanities Tennessee’s Conversation Bureau addresses the Tennessee Social Studies Curriculum Process Standards for grades 9-12; Acquiring Information, Analysis of Data and Problem Solving, Communication, and Historical Awareness. Conversations also meet multiple Content Standards for courses in African American History, Contemporary Issues, Modern History, United States Government, and United States History.
To host a conversation:
- select a Conversation topic from this list
- contact the corresponding scholar/facilitator in your area to schedule
- submit this form to request the Conversation
- explore these resources to help publicize and evaluate your Conversation
Resources and information for scholar-facilitators may be found here.