Skip to Content
Gabrielle Tayac, PhD, giving a presentation entitles "Fire, Water, Nations RISE!"

Partnerships and Collaborations

Deans' Equity and Inclusion Initiative

Through our Mellon program we initiated the Deans' Equity and Inclusion Initiative engaging deans and directors of built environment schools committed to re-imagining our communities in support of a more equitable, just, and healthy future for all. A primary project of the collaborative is a new program to mentor early career faculty with attention to BIPOC and other under-represented faculty. We host cohorts of early career fellows who participate in a two-year program of mentoring, including two summer institutes, and monthly working sessions. Comprised of over thirty-five leaders, this initiative identifies ways in which a community of schools can do more than any one individually to steward the next generation of design and planning faculty, including our 23 current fellows.

Screenshot of the Home page for the Deans' Equity and Inclusion website
The Deans' Equity and Inclusion web resource for leaders and faculty engaged in working towards a more just future.

Mellon Colloquium Poster

“Landscapes of Civil Rights in the District of Columbia and the National Capital Area”

February 25, 2022 | Mellon Colloquium

Seeking to build collaborative research, we hosted our annual Mellon Colloquium, “Landscapes of Civil Rights in the District of Columbia and the National Capital Area” on February 25th, 2022, in partnership with the National Park Service, University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites, and Tulane University. This event launched a multiyear collaborative project led by the NPS to recognize, document, map, and explore frameworks for interpreting landscapes of civil rights in the District of Columbia and the National Capital Area with a focus on National Park Service lands.

NEH Workshop

We are collaborating on the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Planning Project, “Connecting the Interstates,” led by LaDale Winling at Virginia Technical University with Thaïsa Way as a co-PI. This work included a workshop with participants to explore how we might collectively create a digital history project on the U.S. interstate highway system. Mellon support for our initiatives and Dumbarton Oaks as a community make this possible.

Black-and-white aerial view of a highway under construction running through the middle of a gridded city.
Construction of Interstate 95, downtown Richmond. Alfred Tice, photographer. Library of Virginia.
A diverse group of adults posing in a partially-shaded garden in front of and up a curved staircase.
NEH Summer Institute Participants at Dumbarton Oaks

NEH Summer Institute

In June 2022 we were excited to host Dumbarton Oaks’ first NEH Summer Institute Towards a People’s History of Landscape: Black & Indigenous Histories of the Nation’s Capital Summer Institute for College and University Teachers. Twenty-three faculty members and graduate students from college and universities convened at Dumbarton Oaks from June 12 through July 1, 2022. Participants collaborated on the development of online, open-source curriculum modules that teach and explore landscape-grounded social histories, centering Black and Indigenous historical narratives in the founding of the United States and the District of Columbia. These modules as well as shared syllabi will be made available on a new website as we identify ways to build our community of place-based historians and scholars. The Institute builds on our Mellon Initiative to respond to a broad call in the humanities for reexamining how we research and teach history through the lens of people in place and towards expanding critical spatial literacy.