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Three UC Davis faculty members were awarded the UC President’s Public Partnerships in the Humanities grants from the University of California Humanities Research Institute in 2014-2015. Assistant professors N. Claire Napawan and Sheryl-Ann Simpson (Human Ecology) received support for their project “Our Changing Climate: Resilience Networks at the Community Scale,” and Associate Professor Robyn Rodriguez (Asian American Studies) will use the funding toward her project, “WELGA! Filipino American Perspectives on the Great Grape Strike of 1965.” The Public Partnership grants are designed to support inventive humanities research with community engagement.

“Our Changing Climate: Resilience Networks at the Community Scale” Napawan’s and Simpson’s project addresses the urgent need for local perspectives on climate change by leveraging social networking and digital media to provide a digital community that will champion community involvement. These include opportunities to contribute images and narratives to community-generated neighborhood resilience mapping; and community participation in on-going local conversations about climate change and resilience. “There is a need to better understand the sometime-subtle, local, and everyday ways in which people are experiencing climate change,” said Napawan. The effects of climate change may be well understood by the academics who study them, but for the average individual, predicted environmental change can be difficult to grasp.

“WELGA! Filipino American Stories of the Great Grape Strike of 1965” Directed by Associate Professor Robyn Rodriguez (Asian and Asian American Studies), the second Public Partnerships project is dedicated to documenting Filipino leadership in the 1965 Delano Grape Strike and following labor movements. “WELGA” is the Tagalog/ Filipino word for “strike”, and the project intended to bring attention to the important contributions of Filipinos to the farmworker struggle in California. The project will collect the oral histories of 1965 strike participants and supporters and digitize the stories to be added to a digital archive alongside strike-related materials. The materials gathered through this 15-month project will be housed on a publicly accessible website and physical archive which will be launched in September 2015, the strike’s 50th anniversary. The Welga Project also includes collaboration with key community stakeholders in the city of Delano, California, to install permanent QR (Quick Response) codes at appropriate sites related to the 1965 strike. Additionally, a teacher’s resource guide will be produced to support the implementation of AB123, which mandates the teaching of Filipinos’ contribution to the farmworker struggle.



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