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Just Buffalo invites community participation in 2021 Civil Writes Project

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Thu, Feb 25th 2021 09:35 am

Artists, collectives and organizations can apply for up to $1,500 in project support

Just Buffalo Literary Center invites artists, collectives, organizations and community groups to apply for up to $1,500 in support for events and projects aligned with Just Buffalo’s Civil Writes Project, a community engagement initiative that celebrates Black writers, draws inspiration from Buffalo’s history as a gateway to freedom along the Underground Railroad, and finds pathways toward justice in the power of the written word.

The deadline for applications is March 15, and a total of $15,000 will be distributed.

“By challenging our Buffalo community – one of the most segregated cities in America – to grapple with racism and inequities through literature, our goal is to confront our shared past and present in order to shape a more equitable future,” said Barbara Cole, Just Buffalo’s artistic director. “So much good work is being done already by artists, organizations and community members to open conversations across the city, and Just Buffalo hopes to amplify that vital work and encourage connection through reading and writing by making financial support available.”

The 2021 Civil Writes Project centers on Just Buffalo’s virtual BABEL presentation with bestselling author Ta-Nehisi Coates on April 22. Related community programming scheduled this far includes a Ta-Nehisi Coates reading group; writing workshops in collaboration with the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center and the Wakanda Alliance; and “Water in the Desert,” a collaborative youth project with Ujima Company and Squeaky Wheel.

Just Buffalo’s Civil Writes Project began in 2017 with a series of interconnected literary arts programs culminating in Toni Morrison’s appearance at the organization’s BABEL series, 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic speech on the same stage at Kleinhans Music Hall.

To learn more about the Civil Writes Project, participate in upcoming events or apply for project support, visit justbuffalo.org.

Just Buffalo Literary Center’s mission is to create and strengthen communities through the literary arts. For more than 45 years, the organization has brought the world’s greatest writers to Buffalo, hosted poetry events and readings, and supported the development of young writers.

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