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DeLaney Center Receives Grant from Virginia Humanities An award of $9,500 will support the center’s Screen to Square film series.

SOC110922_021-600x400 DeLaney Center Receives Grant from Virginia HumanitiesMichael Hill speaks during DeLaney Center Saturday at Lylburn Downing Middle School

The Delaney Center at Washington and Lee University was one of 21 nonprofit organizations state-wide selected to receive a grant from Virginia Humanities. The center will receive $9,500 to fund its Screen to Square film series during the 2023-24 academic year.

The Screen to Square film series brings together students, faculty, staff and community members to view a historically significant film, followed by panel discussions that aim to engage audiences in open dialogue and critical thinking about Southern identity, culture and social issues.

The DeLaney Center will feature four Screen to Square events during the 2023-24 academic year, with a central theme titled “Turning Points in the Civil Rights Movement.” The first screening and discussion of the school year, “Southern Hoops: A History of SEC Basketball,” was held on Nov. 4 in Stackhouse Theater. The series continues with a screening of the movie “Till” on Jan. 18, 2024, and additional screenings are scheduled for April 2024 and June 2024.

“Moviegoers experience a unique fellowship and by funding the 2023-24 Screen to Square films series, Virginia Humanities acknowledged the possibilities nestled within this deceptively profound experience,” said Michael Hill, director of the DeLaney Center and professor of Africana studies. “The DeLaney Center thanks Virginia Humanities for this grant. Because of its generous support, we can secure permissions to show evocative films, invite illuminating panelists to our town, enjoy breaking bread together, and revel in the wonder of pursuing a more perfect communion. Our times demand such imagination.”

Virginia Humanities, which is the state humanities council, awarded a total of $218,182 in grants last month during National Arts and Humanities Month. The organization strives to share the stories of all Virginians, aiming to help connect individuals with Virginia’s history and culture. Founded in 1974, Virginia Humanities is one of 56 humanities councils created by Congress with money and support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“Virginia Humanities promotes an understanding of this state and its people,” Hill continued. “By ushering individuals of all ages into the shared ritual of watching a film, eating a meal, and discussing the experience, the DeLaney Center aims to bring that hunger for comprehension to the W&L campus and to the Lexington/Rockbridge community. We are excited about how this grant will improve our neighboring.”

The DeLaney Center is an interdisciplinary academic forum that promotes teaching and research on race and Southern identity. Visit the DeLaney Center website at my.wlu.edu/delaney-center for updates on DeLaney Dialogues, film screenings and other programming.