The Center for Innovation in Higher Education (CIHE) is pleased to announce that we are the recipient of a National Endowment for Humanities award for a project titled Free and Equal: The Promise of Reconstruction in America. The center in partnership with local organizations in Beaufort County and a team of national experts and historians worked together to bring the project to the implementation phase. Interim Center Director Dr. Rose Ylimaki is the Primary project Investigator and will work with the project team to implement a successful project. The Beaufort County partners are: Historic Penn Center Inc, The Town of Port Royal, The City of Beaufort, Historic Brick Church, The Mitcheville Project, Grand Army Hall of the Republic, The National Park Service and others. Dr. Eric Foner is the project historian.
The First Step
The NEH grant provides funding for phase one of a project that includes four formats: A mobile app with immersive audio storytelling; an exhibition type website, a brochure and guide map and an interactive kiosk for awareness and setup. Free and Equal will offer visitors a compelling narrative of the country’s key historical Reconstruction themes, in essence telling the story of the “Second Founding” of the nation.
Building on phase one with this NEH funding, future plans in Phase Two will feature a Reconstruction Interpretative Center as well as traveling exhibits to extend the initial public history project.
This project allows the center to expand the learning of Reconstruction history by focusing on summer institutes and courses for K-12 educators, doctoral students, visiting scholars at Penn Center, and an annual conference on democracy, education, the renewing of the second founding and the Port Royal Experiment.