Humanities Kansas recently awarded $10,000 to the University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc. and the Department of Religious Studies to support the “Faith in the Free State Podcast” project. Patricia Cecil serves as project director. The Religion in Kansas Project, an open access digital archive that creates and curates online collections of oral histories, digitized ephemera, and digital exhibitions relating to religious experience and diversity in Kansas, will create a free, publicly available podcast exploring the faith and activism of black churches in Lawrence, Kansas. Today, research shows that African Americans are more likely than any other group in the United States to report a formal religious affiliation; however, conversations about what the black church is and the role churches play in social life is changing due to necessary Covid-19 pandemic responses as well as renewed racial justice activism across the nation. This limited-series podcast will examine the evolving ways in which black churches provide spiritual inspiration, cultural strength, and social empowerment to African American communities during unprecedented times, offering a compelling living narrative of Kansas religious experience. The podcast will bring community and scholarly voices together to offer nuanced narratives about the challenges faced by and the strengths found within black churches today in the Northeast Kansas region.
“Humanities Kansas values projects that explore connections between people, place, and culture,” said Julie Mulvihill, Humanities Kansas Executive Director. “This podcast will share important stories about the role black churches play in northeast Kansas in an accessible format.”
About Humanities Kansas
Humanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit spearheading a movement of ideas to empower the people of Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, our pioneering programming, grants, and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights. Together with our partners and supporters, we inspire all Kansans to draw on history, literature, ethics, and culture to enrich their lives and serve the communities and state we all proudly call home. Visit humanitieskansas.org.