Two reports of programs in response to Black Lives Matter

1. Library Foundation gets funds for materials exploring race and racial equity

2. indiana Humanities offers fellowships for research into racial injustice

BONUS COVERAGE: Library Foundation gets funds for materials exploring race and racial equity

The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation has received a $140,000 grant from Lilly Endowment to expand the Library’s collection of high-demand materials that explore the issues of race and racial equity. The grant will allow for the purchase of 4,000 copies of 180 fiction and non-fiction titles in various formats, including books, e-books, audiobooks, and videos for children, teens and adults. A majority of titles will be adult non-fiction.

All of the new materials are available to students and teachers with Library cards, and some physical books will be given to 100 school media centers, including Indianapolis Public Schools, that participate either in the Library’s shared catalog system or the Axis 360 Community Share initiative which provides access to tens of thousands of e-books and audiobooks for children.

The Library Foundation is one of two organizations to receive funds from Lilly Endowment for enhancement of racial equity resources, joining Indiana Humanities which received funding to distribute individual grants of $1,000 to at least 100 statewide organizations. The grant to the Library Foundation is already allowing the Indianapolis Public Library to meet the demand for these popular and relevant materials and reduce hold times when they are placed on reserve.

The list of titles developed by Library staff and local educators was specified in the grant request. Among the most popular titles are How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, and White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.

“We thank Lilly Endowment for helping The Indianapolis Public Library, and indeed public libraries throughout Indiana, respond to Hoosiers’ growing demand for racial equity resources,” said Roberta Knickerbocker Jaggers, president of the Library Foundation. “We are honored to support our patrons on this vital learning journey.”

In addition to making electronic items available for checkout at, each Indy Library location will receive a core, “non-floating” set of titles for display and checkout at that particular site. When searching the online catalog, patrons can discover these materials by searching “racial equity grant,” which distinguishes this collection from the wide array of other Library materials on this subject.

These newer materials have been ordered and will be added to the Library’s collection as they arrive.

To discover more booklists, reading recommendations and other resources that address issues of race and racial equity, visit the Library’s blog at

BONUS COVERAGE: Indiana Humanities offers fellowships for research into racial injustice

Seeking to engage the power of the humanities in the nation’s work for racial justice, Indiana Humanities is supporting fellowships for research into racial injustice experienced by Black Hoosiers, structural racism in Indiana and the ways those affected by racism have responded.

Named for a former Indiana Historical Society archivist and librarian who served as one of Indiana’s preeminent scholars of African American history, Wilma Gibbs Moore Fellowships of $2,500 will support humanities scholars as they conduct new research on anti-Black racism in Indiana. 

“In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, our nation has engaged in essential, often painful conversations about the injustices too often suffered by Black Americans,” said Keira Amstutz, Indiana Humanities president and CEO. The organization is headquartered in The Old Northside.

“We’ve created this fellowship because we believe these conversations will be most productive if they are supported by the kind of discovery, understanding, analysis and critical thinking that can result from leveraging the humanities,” Amstutz added.

 The Wilma Gibbs Moore Fellowship is open to individual researchers or research teams who can demonstrate their credibility as researchers and show how their proposed topic aligns to the fellowship’s goals. Researchers do not need to be based in Indiana but must show how their research relates significantly to Indiana.

Proposals will be welcomed from across the fields of humanities inquiry, including but not limited to history, literature, philosophy, cultural studies, religious studies, art history, folklore, ethnomusicology and gender studies, as well as humanistic social sciences such as political science, sociology and anthropology. An advisory panel of esteemed humanities scholars will review the proposals.

Fellowship applications will be accepted until Sept. 28. Applicants will be notified of fellowship awards by Nov. 2, with an expectation that the fellowship work will be completed by Dec. 31, 2021.

For more details about the fellowship, its aims and requirements, and to access the fellowship application, go to