Two from Flint recognized with awards from Michigan Humanities

FLINT, Michigan -- Michigan Humanities, a statewide humanities council that promotes cultural programming in Michigan communities, has announced recipients of its 2021 Michigan Humanities Awards. Winners include two recipients with Flint ties.

Thomas Henthorn, Dorothea E. Wyatt Professor of United States History and associate professor of history at the University of Michigan-Flint, was recognized as Humanities Champion of the Year in the individual category. 

“As a history educator, Dr. Henthorn impresses core humanities principles—understanding what is basically and inalienably human—by making sure his students learn from the community in which they live as well as the classroom,” Michigan Humanities noted in a news release. “In addition to his work as a board member and consultant for local museums, Dr. Henthorn works across the state (in partnership with Michigan Humanities) to bring historical and cultural programming to a range of audiences.”

Locally, Henthorn is particularly active in using Flint landmarks, including neighborhoods and historic cemeteries, as creative learning environments for students and the community. 

"I'm always thrilled when awards like this highlight the inventive ways we engage folks about history at the University of Michigan-Flint," said Henthorn in a news release. "We live in a complex, interconnected world. Those individuals who know how to connect people, cultures and ideas are better positioned to build strong communities — and provide value in the workplace. That's really the habit of mind I try to impress when I engage students or the community in our history – and it is at the heart of what the humanities are all about."

Communities First, Inc., a Flint-based nonprofit that specializes in redeveloping properties into affordable housing, creating economic development opportunities, and launching various community programs, was recognized as a Community Impact Partner of the Year.

“Communities First reached over 18,000 people in 2020 with safe, creative programming during the pandemic,”  Michigan Humanities noted in a news release. “These programs allowed individuals to feel connected to arts, culture, and one another. Their innovative Culture Shock program exposes families to unique humanities experiences, enhancing their quality of life.”

Other recipients of Michigan Humanities awards included Underground Railroad Society of Cass County (Outstanding Humanities Organization) and The Diatribe, Grand Rapids (Community Impact Partner of the Year). 

“We are very pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Michigan Humanities Awards. These individuals and organizations are more than deserving of their awards and are doing such wonderful humanities work around Michigan,” said Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki, President & CEO of Michigan Humanities, in a news release.
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