Minnesota Humanities Center opens nominations for Veterans’ Voices Awards

The Minnesota Humanities Center is accepting nominations for its 2018 Veterans’ Voices through Thursday, June 7.

 Now in its sixth year, the Veterans’ Voices Award recognizes former and actively serving Minnesota veterans who are making significant contributions to their communities and are exemplary humanists. These veterans also embody the Humanities Center’s mission — “to build a thoughtful, literate, and engaged society” — and values: to build and strengthen relationships, recognize the power of story and danger of absence, learn from and with multiple voices, and amplify community solutions for change.

 These awards are part of the Humanities Center’s Veterans’ Voices program that draws on the power of the humanities to call attention to the contributions and often-missed stories of veterans. This program empowers all Minnesota veterans to speak in their own voices through storytelling, art, theater, discussion groups and more — amplifying the voices of veterans throughout our state and helping to bridge the veteran-civilian divide.

 “Receiving a 2014 Veterans’ Voices Award validated the work I was doing through AmeriCorps and it positively impacted the transition into my current career,” awardee Alex Schueller said. “I received this award in the early days of my new career, and it helped me realize I deserved to be there to continue service to the community. Continuing to nominate veterans is imperative in elevating the positive impacts our veterans make on our communities in Minnesota.”

 For the past four years, the National Endowment for the Humanities has led a nationwide initiative to amplify the voices of veterans through Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War. Minnesota Humanities Center’s Veterans’ Voices program is the ongoing Minnesota embodiment of this initiative. 

  The Veterans’ Voices Awards are a statewide effort with awardees representing Minneapolis, St. Paul, Prior Lake, Inver Grover Heights, Mankato, Frazee, Waconia, Bemidji, Buffalo, Farmington, Coon Rapids, Big Lake, Chisholm, Mankato, Stillwater, Cloquet, and Mendota Heights in 2017 alone. Since 2013, Minnesota Humanities Center’s Veterans’ Voices Awards have recognized 126 Minnesota veterans—from a sitting state senator to a Muslim community leader, a sexual-assault survivor to a middle school teacher — and everyone in between.

 “The Humanities Center is honored to be presenting the sixth annual Veterans’ Voices Awards,” David O’Fallon, Minnesota Humanities Center president and CEO, said. “The Veterans’ Voices program and award strike at the core of our humanities work in Minnesota. They are instrumental in telling the absent narrative of veterans and also of leveraging the power of the humanities to create empathy and bring people together, including bridging the veteran-civilian divide. The humanities allow us to ask two fundamental questions: ‘What kind of world do you want to live in?’ and ‘How are we all going to get along in that world?’ Amplifying the voices of veterans within that is the goal of our Veterans’ Voices work.” 

 For more information on the Veterans’ Voices program as well as details about the Veterans’ Voices Award and how to nominate a deserving veteran, visit mnhum.org/vets/award.

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