Humanities Moments

Humanities Moments

We’ve all had “humanities moments” — when our lives were made richer, more poignant, and meaningful because of the insights the humanities provide.

Browse Items (10 total)

by Juan Felipe Herrera, performance artist, activist, and U.S. Poet Laureate in 2015
Three Blind Mice
Juan Felipe Herrera, a performance artist, activist, and U.S. poet laureate in 2015, recalls how his third-grade teacher’s compliment on his singing voice led to his lifelong belief in using his voice to encourage the beauty in the voices, stories, and, experiences of others. He goes on to speak about the power of the humanities to warm communities, create peace, and, move hearts.To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group…

by Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, 28th Chief Justice of the State of California
The Hawaiian Filipino community welcomes a Philippine navy captain
Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye is the 28th Chief Justice of the State of California. She recalls her experiences as a student in a humanities class in college, her upbringing in a Filipino community of hardworking women eager to pass on their traditions, and her realization that the humanities teach us to celebrate and respect the stories and uniqueness of people.To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent…

by Betty Reid Soskin
African American Park Ranger Sylvester Putman and Maggie Laura Walker Lewis at the July 14, 1985 opening ceremony for Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
At 95, Betty Reid Soskin is the oldest active U.S. Park Ranger. Having lived through wars, racial segregation, and other turbulent times in our history, she says empathy and world peace are possible through the humanities.To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent Californians to explore what the humanities mean to them. For more information visit calhum.org/about/we-are-the-humanities.

by Larry Kramer, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Religious symbols
Larry Kramer, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, went to college expecting to become a doctor, but taking a course on religious ethics and moral issues shifted his direction. To him, the humanities allow us to be introspective and to understand our lives from a larger point of view, which leads to a more revealing and enriching human experience.To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent…

by George Takei, actor, author, director, activist
Japanese internment detainees
Actor, author, director, and activist George Takei recalls his family’s resilience and ability to find joy, beauty, and love in simple treasures while imprisoned in Japanese internment camps in the 1940s. He notes that the humanities remind us that we are better than war and destruction and together are capable of bettering society.To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent Californians to explore what the…

by Luis Rodriguez, poet laureate of Los Angeles in 2014
Los Angeles public library
Luis Rodriguez, poet laureate of Los Angeles in 2014, explains how his love for books and libraries rescued him from a life of trouble. He notes that through books, he discovered more about people and their lives, which encouraged his interest in writing about injustice and activism.To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent Californians to explore what the humanities mean to them. For more information visit…

by Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California
Willa Cather ca. 1912
Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California, reflects on her life growing up in New Mexico and how a low grade on a poetry analysis assignment in college encouraged her to master the craft of writing. She notes how her writing abilities and exposure to the humanities served her well in a career in government and higher education. To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent Californians to…

by Malcolm Margolin, author, publisher, and founder of Heyday Books
Ohlone Indians in a Tule Boat in the San Francisco Bay 1822, by Louis Choris
Author and publisher Malcolm Margolin shares how the telling of stories helps shape and give meaning to the world. He also reflects on his time documenting American Indian life in the Bay Area and becoming captivated by the stories and histories from this experience. To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent Californians to explore what the humanities mean to them. For more information visit…

by Craig Watson, former director of the California Arts Council
Diego Rivera Mural.jpg
Craig Watson, former director of the California Arts Council, reflects on the storytelling aspect of the humanities and the time he spent as a teenager in Guadalajara exploring public spaces painted with murals. He notes how people in the humanities help translate and open our eyes to what’s magical and unique about a place.To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent Californians to explore what the…

by John Cho
Statue of Liberty
Actor John Cho shares how the humanities reveal answers to the most important questions in life. He notes his fondness of reading and how theLittle House on the Prairiebooks helped him as a youth process and understand his family’s place in America.To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent Californians to explore what the humanities mean to them. For more information visit…
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