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Library Services Receives National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

Release Date: November 19, 2021

Sean Pooley

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Dean of Library Science Rhonda Gonzales

PUEBLO — The Colorado State University Pueblo Library and Academic Resource Center (LARC) received a $151,520 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $87.7 million so far in their American Rescue Plan. The goal of this program is to provide funds for cultural and educational institutions that were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very happy to receive these funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities,” said Dean of Library Services, Rhonda Gonzales. “This grant will allow us to hire an archivist who can dedicate time and effort to working with the community, accepting donations, and processing collections for the Colorado Chicano Movement Archives (CCMA). This is especially welcome since the archives have been without staff since May 2020 due to COVID related hiring freezes.”

In addition to being an archivist, the grant outlines the hiring of four student interns who will gain experience in history and library science. The grant also gives the LARC funds to enhance its collection of photos, oral histories, and collection of objects to expand the reach of the Aztlán Center.

This archivist will also work to advance the new Aztlán Center which is dedicated to the study of Chicanx, Latinx and Indigenous Peoples and Environments of the Southwest. The Aztlán Center allows students, faculty, and the Pueblo community the opportunity to increase their knowledge in the history of people from the Southern Colorado area.

“CSU Pueblo is a proud recipient of the NEH grant to help expand our collection of the Colorado Chicano Movement Archives and enhance the newly created Aztlan Center,” said President Timothy Mottet. “The funding will help support CSU Pueblo’s Vision 2028 goal of becoming the people’s university of the Southwest by educating the community about the history of the region and aligns with our federal designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution.” 

This grant allows the CCMA to continue collaborations with the Chicanx community that empower them to help document the history of this underrepresented group and its struggle for justice and equality. Additionally, a consultant will be hired to train Chicanx community members to assist in collecting historical materials.

“I appreciate what the library faculty and staff have been able to do over the past few years,” said Provost and Executive President for Academic Affairs Mohamed Abdelrahman. “I am excited about this new NEH grant that will allow the library to expand its active role in serving the community in a unique way that ties to our mission as a Hispanic Serving Institution.” 

One of the main collections of focus with the CCMA is El Movimiento, which details the fight for equity in Colorado for members of the Chicanx Movement. The CCMA preserves this history, encouraging the campus and greater Pueblo community to learn from the past and understand how current social unrest impacts the Chicanx Movement today.

“These American Rescue Plan funds will allow us to reopen and pick up where we left off with the CCMA,” Gonzales said. “In today’s society, we believe it is more important than ever to document the stories of the Chicano struggle for social justice in Colorado. It’s particularly timely as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Chicano Studies on our campus throughout this year.”

With 34 percent of its students identifying as Hispanic, CSU Pueblo has earned the distinction of being a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). As an HSI, CSU Pueblo places a priority on chronicling the history of the Chicanx Movement and helping students, faculty and community members from all backgrounds learn more about the struggle for equality that continues today.

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