In 2016 with the support of a generous $725,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Brandeis University and Carnegie Mellon University supported work to modernize the technological foundations of the HistoryMakers digital archive. In addition, Brandeis became one of the first universities to gain access to The HistoryMakers’ archive through a first-ever digital subscription partnership. The digital subscription partnership gives scholars and students unprecedented access to the most significant archive of African-American life.
The HistoryMakers was founded in 1999 by Brandeis alumna Julieanna Richardson. The HistoryMakers is the largest African American video oral history archive. It includes more than 2,700 oral histories, totaling 9,000 hours from historically significant African Americans, as well as African American organizations, events, and movements that have made significant contributions to American society and culture. As a digital archive it is an online database that will educate and show the breadth and depth of the accomplishments of individual African Americans across a variety of disciplines. Designated grants to support faculty and students to work with the HistoryMakers archive for research and teaching purposes have been available at Brandeis from the office of the Provost since 2016.
Since 2016 the Provost has annually supported research innovation awards that have prioritized funding to scholarships that advances our understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion and the impact of racial inequities on society.