Our civic engagement partners Chester Made and Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul addressed these questions and more in 2018-2019, telling A Tale of Two Cities through a series of programs and activities as part of the national Democracy and the Informed Citizen initiative.

For an overview of the series, read the Generocity feature article "PA Humanities Council helps communities reclaim their stories."


On Wednesday, November 7, 2018,  Pulitzer Prize-winning author Steven Hahn presented a talk on the importance of telling stories of "glory" parallel to stories of "gory." He was joined by WURD 900AM show host Eric "Brother Shomari" Grimes, social research activist Julie Rainbow, and Widener historian Jordan B. Smith for a panel discussion on how we accept, reconcile and synthesize these types of contradictions.

How do we tell a Chester history that includes and respects what is true for every group in the city? 

Across many places and times, people have battled to advance narratives that give them ownership over reality and resources. This is no different in Chester where people from different backgrounds overtly and covertly fight for legitimacy and power through storytelling.

This program was hosted by Chester Made, Pennsylvania Humanities Council, and Delaware County Historical Society.

About Democracy and the Informed Citizen

These programs were part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry.

We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.

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