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MJCH Reps Network with Humanitarians at NEH Event

posted May 17 2016 1:00 AM

GODFREY – Representatives of the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities had the opportunity to network with fellow humanitarians and help celebrate the National Endowment for the Humanities’ 50th anniversary this month in Washington, D.C. 

Lewis and Clark Community College President Dale Chapman and Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities Foundation Executive Director Ed Hightower attended the NEH’s 2016 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, featuring award-winning documentarian Ken Burns, on May 9 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to communicate the mission and vision that Mannie Jackson has for the MJCH and its foundation,” Hightower said. “This is the second time this spring that Mannie has been invited to have an impact on the direction of the NEH.” 

This spring, Jackson was invited to speak at the NEH National Council on the Humanities, which took place March 4.

Burns was selected by the NEH as this year’s speaker because of his distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities. 

Dale Chapman and Ed Hightower meeting Ken Burns Dale Chapman and Ed Hightower meeting Robert Perry
Dale Chapman and Ed Hightower meeting award-winning documentarian Ken Burns. Dale Chapman and Ed Hightower meeting Robert Perry, Chairman and President of National Trust for the Humanities.

For more than 37 years, the NEH has been helping Burns, a New York native who grew up in Michigan, make his films. Considered one of the most influential biographers of our time, he is known for his outstanding work, from his one-hour debut on the “Brooklyn Bridge” (1982), which earned him an Academy Award nomination, to epics like “The Civil War” (1990), “Baseball” (1994), “Jazz” (2001) and many more. His most recent project was 2014’s “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” followed by 2017’s “The Vietnam War,” which is still in the works.

On behalf of the National Trust for the Humanities, a charitable organization whose purpose is to serve as an advocate for the humanities and to support the work of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Chapman and Hightower were among a small group of lecture attendees invited to have lunch with Burns. 

“We were able to engage him in conversation about the direction of the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities, then we attended the Jefferson lecture,” Chapman said. “Burns’ speech was a powerful look at his personal journey through life, and his reflections on where the country has been and where it is headed in terms of race relations and unfinished national agenda.”

The Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, which supports the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities, a division of Lewis and Clark Community College. The center was created to bring together diverse audiences and humanities programming through lectures, readings, dialogues, public engagement opportunities and educational activities.

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