A Trip to Naper Settlement Helps Donnelley Grant Work

A Trip to Naper Settlement Helps Donnelley Grant Work

Published: July 11, 2022.

A recent trip to view the “Unvarnished: Housing Discrimination in the Northern and Western United States” exhibit at Naper Settlement in Naperville inspired a group of Lewis University students working on preserving Joliet-area history. The students looked for examples of documents, images, and stories of individuals that helped make the exhibit’s case.  

The Lewis University students are in the midst of working on their own exhibit that will be on display in the fall. Through the support of the “Reclaiming the Narrative: Restoring Black Voices to the Story of Joliet” grant initiative funded by the Chicago-based Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the students are working in the field and in Lewis University’s Adelmann Regional History Collection.  

Initially, they are working with partners, Second Baptist Church, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Warren-Sharpe Community Center, and National Hookup of Black Women. Preliminarily, the students are involved in asking the partners what stories they would like to share about themselves. The students are then working on site to digitize documents and images. These materials will be made available through the digital collections through the Lewis University Library.  

The student group includes Jacob Barrett, Donnelley grant coordinator, Naseem “Alina” Virani, graduate assistant, Marco Cruz, Donnelley grant intern, and Gracie Trevino, Donnelley grant intern. Dennis H. Cremin, professor of history and Lewis University History Center director, supervises the work.  

Lewis University is one of 11 recipients of the Foundation’s groundbreaking “Broadening Narratives” initiative which aims to fund specific collections projects that bring forward underrepresented stories. All projects promote BIPOC communities, LGBTQ+ perspectives, working-class narratives, small community experiences, as well as other underrepresented groups and viewpoints. 

Lewis University is an innovative Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,400 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, and globally-connected graduates who impact the world for the better. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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