Advancing Racial Equity Collection Development grants support libraries, schools and community organizations in adding diverse books and materials to their circulating collections. This special grant and associated programs are made possible thanks to funding from Lilly Endowment Inc.



Indiana Humanities Awards more than $70,000 in Advancing Racial Equity Collection Development Grants

Seventy-seven libraries, schools, universities and nonprofit organizations across Indiana have been awarded Advancing Racial Equity Collection Development grants, which supply funds to add to their circulating collections digital or physical resources addressing topics such as race, systemic racism and the Black experience in Indiana and beyond.

Learn more

Grant Details

Goals and Timeline

Indiana Humanities first offered the Advancing Racial Equity Collection Development grants in response to the 2020 murder of George Floyd and ensuing protests. The grant program was designed to address the increased demand on libraries for materials on the subject of racial equity. Due to continued interest, the grants are being offered again this year. This special grant opportunity and associated programs are made possible thanks to funding from Lilly Endowment Inc.

These grants of up to $1,000 can be used to add digital or physical resources (including books, films or other materials) that address race, systemic racism and/or the Black experience through a humanities lens. Materials must be selected from among the 400+ titles on the pre-approved list, which was curated by librarians with input from humanities scholars.

Public libraries, including those within prisons, community centers and schools, are encouraged to apply. Other Indiana tax-exempt organizations, such as senior citizens centers or community centers, may apply but must be able to demonstrate in their application how materials will circulate for free in their local communities. These funds may not be used to purchase books or other materials for one-time giveaways but instead should be for multiple users over time.

Our goal is to help Hoosiers think, read and talk about racial injustice and systemic racism and to support libraries as key public humanities organizations in this work. 

Applications for Advancing Racial Equity Collection Development grants are currently closed. The application will reopen in the fall of 2023.

Book List

The list includes fiction and non-fiction titles for children, teens/young adults and adults that address the topics of race, systemic racism and the Black experience. Some selections have specific Indiana content relevant to Hoosier readers. 

This list was first developed in 2020 through a partnership with the Indianapolis Public Library. Librarians and humanities scholars consulted Central Indiana Community Foundation’s “Tools for Accountability,” titles recommended by Dr. Pat Payne (Director of Indianapolis Public Schools’ Racial Equity Initiative) and resource lists provided by Booklist (a publication of the American Library Association). 

In 2022, Indiana Humanities staff, in consultation with a project steering committee, expanded the list to include titles published in the past two years along with more titles of Indiana interest. 

View the book list here (Excel) and here (PDF).

Advancing Racial Equity Collections Grant Resources

Grant resources designed to help you carry out a successful project.


Contact Lyndsey Blair, Program Associate
lblair@indianahumanities.org | 317.975.0060

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