RANDOLPH — County College of Morris (CCM) is one of seven community colleges, and the only one in New Jersey, awarded a $17,500 grant through the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to take part in a new nationwide project on “Citizenship Under Siege.” AAC&U, along with The Democracy Commitment, is providing the funding through a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to sponsor a series of public forums around the country. The project builds on a previously NEH-funded initiative, Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation: Difference, Community, and Democratic Thinking, in which CCM also was a recipient and participant.
“We’re honored to receive this support to continue the work CCM has undertaken through The Bridging Cultures project as part of our commitment to supporting diversity and civic engagement,” said Dr. Edward J. Yaw, CCM president. “Through this grant, we will be able to facilitate public dialogue on how we as a nation can bridge differences and build stronger communities.”
In announcing the grants, AAC&U noted that since the nation’s origins, who counts as a U.S. citizen has been hotly contested, and today those divisive debates are as intense as ever.
Public forums, supported by the grant, will explore critical questions about citizenship such as historic struggles for social justice and how the humanities can provide fresh understanding for contemporary issues involving equality, individual dignity, opportunity, liberty and happiness.
Dr. Jill Schennum, chair of the Department of Sociology, Economics and Anthropology, and Dr. Michael Parrella, chair of the Department of History and Political Science, applied for and will be overseeing the grant at CCM.
Schennum explained that the funding will be used to develop a public forum to investigate the theme of stratified citizenship. Faculty and students then will expand upon the themes raised and discussed in the forum and develop a series of resources for the college community and general public.