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Mellon Grant to Support ‘Healing Through Narrative’

  • Reiko Hillyer, associate professor of history (second from left), teaches L&C’s Inside-Out course at the Columbia River Correctional Institution.
    Nina Johnson

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has approved a grant of $750,000 to Lewis & Clark College to support community partnerships that address social suffering brought about by incarceration, inequitable access to higher education, and physical/mental illness.

The “Healing Social Suffering Through Narrative” project will involve college-wide collaborations with multiple community partners, including L&C’s existing partnership with Write Around Portland.

We will build on our foundational relationship with Write Around Portland by using narrative as a tool to heal social suffering, in partnership with the Columbia River Correctional Institution, Roosevelt High School, and the Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative. These partnerships will allow us to serve incarcerated individuals with limited access to higher education; low-income high school students who might not otherwise see college in their future paths; and veterans and their caregivers who are suffering from physical and mental health problems.

In addition, the project will make it possible for faculty in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences to develop and/or strengthen other links with the Portland community through a range of partnership grants grounded in the topic of healing social suffering. Lewis & Clark students will have the opportunity to serve the local community not only through their coursework but also through applied experiences (including internships and volunteer work) with our community partners.

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