Opinion: Studying Humanities Can Prepare the Next Generation of Social Justice Leaders

"Humanities professors across the country have ceaselessly lamented the precipitous decline in undergraduate humanities majors in recent years. During the decade following the Great Recession of 2008, the number of humanities bachelor’s degree recipients fell by a whopping 14 percent — from a peak of about 236,000," writes Mellon Program Director Phillip Brian Harper in an op-ed on Hechinger Report.

"Educators can no longer afford to be shy about publicizing the practical skills their humanities students develop or the careers humanities graduates succeed in. It is for this reason that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation created its new Humanities for All Times initiative, which has awarded more than $16 million to 12 liberal arts colleges to develop curricula that clearly articulate the distinctive aims and methods of humanities analysis. These curricula are also intended to demonstrate the importance of such analysis within social justice work."


"Five Ways Mellon and Liberal Arts Colleges are Driving Social Change,"The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, February 1, 2022.

"Phillip Brian Harper, Program Director for Higher Learning, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: Humanities as a Component of Social Justice," Philanthropy News Digest, February 9, 2022.