Values & Strategic Plan


At the heart of the humanities are stories. Stories carry our culture; they educate, transform, and change us. They can spark new ideas and fresh thinking, but we must willingly listen to one another and engage in difficult conversations about our past, the complexities we face today, and the future we can create together. We know we will not be perfect, but we will be present.

  • Humanities Tennessee stands with all fellow humans engaged in the enduring struggle for justice and we commit to doing what we can to achieve an equitable Tennessee.
  • Humanities Tennessee commits to creating safe spaces where all people of Tennessee can share their stories and explore ideas free of intolerance.
  • Humanities Tennessee will provide resources, share readings, and collaborate with humanists (scholars and writers) to curate texts for reflection and learning so that the work for a more just and inclusive society can continue.



Humanities Tennessee prioritizes these value outcomes as central to its purpose and decision-making: Shared Knowledge; Empowerment; Civility; Community; and, Equity.


Strategic Plan

Given that Humanities Tennessee’s creates strategic plans every five years – a relatively long period – it is crucial to understand the environmental context in which the plan is generated and to articulate a shared rationale of the future direction of the organization. The launch of the 2023 strategic plan establishes a foundation for the next 5-20 years of capacity-building priorities intended to create state-wide impact beyond anything our organization may accomplish on its own.

This plan and planning process is unique in that it is steeped in defined organizational values and vision, intended to inform priorities for the next five years while also creating a decision-making framework to yield unprecedented state-wide collective impact over the next 20 years.

To achieve this impact, we must:

  • Develop and maintain healthy and strategic alliances to realize greater collective impact
  • Commit to structural and systemic inclusivity and diversity by incorporating our value outcomes into every aspect of the organization
  • Focus on strategic growth of capacity and reach for HT coming out of the first fifty years of work by expanding engagement with and understanding among communities and legislative representatives, and increasing financial support from non-NEH funding sources
  • Empower organizations and local communities to share their stories

Collectively, as a staff and board of directors, we can imagine over the next 20 years that these efforts foster more unified and connected communities among every county in Tennessee.