$1 Million Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Supports Expansion of PRRI Public Fellows Program
WASHINGTON, DC—Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) announced today a three-year, $1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Higher Learning program. The generous grant supports the expansion of the PRRI Public Fellows program, a component of PRRI’s multi-year Religion and Renewing Democracy Initiative. The program aims to generate public scholarship about the role of religion in the American democratic experiment through four principal lenses of inquiry—religious, racial, and ethnic pluralism; racial justice; immigration and migration studies; and LGBTQ rights. The grant will support the work of eight scholars each year from the humanities and the humanistic social sciences.
Launched in April 2021, the Religion and Renewing Democracy Initiative aligns PRRI’s commitment to growing public knowledge and strengthening democracy with the Mellon Foundation’s mission to harness the humanities to build just communities where ideas can thrive. The initiative will cast light on the role of religion and culture as our nation is reckoning with complex and fundamental questions about justice and ethics, the role of religion in public life, public trust and responsibility, and the values of pluralism and democracy itself. This support from Mellon Foundation comes alongside a previously announced $1 million grant from The Henry Luce Foundation for PRRI’s Religion and Renewing Democracy Program.
“PRRI is grateful for The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s support of an expanded PRRI Public Fellows program, as the importance of high-quality public scholarship has increased during this time of reckoning and reflection about American democracy,” said Robert P. Jones, founder and chief executive officer of PRRI. “Through this additional support, our cohort of 2021-2022 PRRI Public Fellows will be our most diverse in terms of academic experience and fields of study, and we look forward to supporting the work of this group of outstanding scholars over the next year.”
Through the Mellon Foundation grant, the PRRI Public Fellows program, entering its fourth year, will expand to include a diverse, interdisciplinary cohort of 16 scholars. Working across the four core areas of PRRI’s research, the fellows will receive individual stipends and support for course releases, along with access to collaborative annual microgrants to promote new scholarship. The full cohort will also benefit from PRRI’s media engagement expertise.
The 2021-2022 cohort of PRRI Public Fellows will be named during the week of October 4, 2021.
About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.
PRRI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and politics.