By Jordan Beach 

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) granted $30 million in grants to 238 humanities projects across the United States, including Reinhardt’s Funk Heritage Center.

Selected among projects from across the country, the Funk Heritage Center won a $189,004 Landmarks of American History grant to fund educational seminars. These seminars will serve to teach 72 educators from across the nation about the Trail of Tears and the tragic events of the Cherokee Removal from North Georgia.

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“We were thrilled when we found out the news. This NEH grant will be a big feather in the cap not only for the Funk Heritage Center, but also for Reinhardt University,” said Director of the Funk Heritage Center, Jeff Bishop.

The Center received the highly competitive grant through the hard work of Bishop; Dr. Mark Roberts, interim president; Dr. Wayne Glowka, retired dean of the School of Arts & Humanities; Dr. Nancy Marsh, dean of the Price School of Education; and Myra Hopper, federal grants manager at Reinhardt, among others. The only other Georgia institution to receive this grant this year is Emory University.

“Securing the NEH Landmarks of American History grant advances Reinhardt’s academic reputation, educational mission and engaging vision,” said Roberts. “I am honored to lead a university that values, preserves and shares its unique, historical place.”

The grant will fund the project known as “The Trail of Tears: Context and Perspectives.” Reinhardt faculty, along with nationally known Cherokee scholars, will host two, one-week workshops in summer 2021 that will focus on providing teachers with resources on how to tell the story of the Cherokee Removal and the Trail of Tears.

“School teachers from all over the country are going to come here to learn about ways to introduce their students to the important topic of the Trail of Tears. They will have the opportunity to visit some important sites involved in the Cherokee Removal and utilize resources at the Funk Heritage Center,” said Bishop.

In addition to Reinhardt faculty, nationally recognized experts who lead the Cherokee Studies program at Western Carolina University, Brett Riggs and Dr. Ben Steere, along with inquiry-based education expert Bruce Lesh, author of "Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer?" will teach in these sessions. Cherokee Nation citizens, such as Tony Harris – president of the Georgia chapter of the Trail of Tears Association – will join the seminars as well.

“It will be a unique opportunity for intense, in-depth learning about this tragic episode in American history,” Bishop continued. “We’re very proud to be hosting and planning this event, and we’re thankful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for this opportunity.”