In early April, The American Council of Learned Societies Announced the 2020 Grantees and Fellows of the Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs. The program is made possible by the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation.

Now in its fourth year, this innovative program connects scholars in the humanities and social sciences with journalists and media outlets to deepen public understanding of the roles religion plays in the most pressing issues faced by societies around the world, from migration and immigration, to politics and economic policy, the environment, gender and sexuality, health and medicine, media and entertainment, and more.

The Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs offers two kinds of awards: collaborative programming grants for colleges and universities to support teams as they bridge scholarship on religion with journalistic training and practice; and fellowships for scholars in the humanities and social sciences who study religion in international contexts.

The Religion, Race & Democracy Lab is one of two 2020 collaborative program grantees. The Lab will receive $45,000 to support the following interdisciplinary collaboration:

Informed Perspectives: Innovative Public Scholarship on Religion, Race, and Democracy

The Religion, Race & Democracy Lab at the University of Virginia will explore how religion intersects with and helps construct racial identity in democracies around the world through a multimedia project that includes seminars with professional journalists and documentary makers on best practices for reporting at the intersection of religion, race, and global democratic movements, and three public-facing audio documentaries examining the dynamics of religion, race, and democracy as seen through events happening in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

Project leads: Martien Halvorson-Taylor and Kurtis R. Schaeffer (Religious Studies)

The Lab is honored to be recognized by Luce/ACLS. Special thanks goes to College of Arts & Sciences graduate students, Jue Liang (Religious Studies), Jessica Marroquín (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese), and Evan Sandsmark (Religious Studies), key collaborators on this grant project.

(Top) Martien Halvorson-Taylor and Kurtis Schaeffer, Co-Directors of the Religion, Race & Democracy Lab. Photo: Ézé Amos