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

Libraries, schools, universities and nonprofit organizations will be invited to apply to Indiana Humanities for funds to add digital or physical resources featuring diverse perspectives and addressing topics of racial injustice, race-related issues and the Black experience in Indiana and beyond to their circulating collections. 

In 2020 and 2021, Lilly Endowment Inc. approved Indiana Humanities’ requests for funding to create a grant program which addressed the increased demand on libraries for materials on the subject of racial equity following the murder of George Floyd and ensuing protests. The grant program continues today to support Hoosiers’ access to materials that reflect the diversity of Indiana’s communities. 

These grants of up to $1,000 can be used to add digital or physical resources (including books, films or other materials) that address racial injustice, race-related issues and the Black experience through a humanities lens. At the discretion of grantees, materials can be selected from among the 400+ titles on a list 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 the diversity of perspectives and experiences in Indiana through fiction, non-fiction, poetry and films that represent the rich tapestry of stories present in our state and nation.  

Applications for Advancing Racial Equity Collection Development grants are open through April 19, 2024. Grantees will be notified of their award by May 3, 2024.


Book List

The list includes fiction and non-fiction titles for children, teens/young adults and adults that address the diversity of Indiana’s communities. 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 and 2024, Indiana Humanities staff, in consultation with a project steering committee, expanded the list to include titles recently published along with more titles of Indiana interest. 

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

How to apply

Read the online application instructions. Select Advancing Racial Equity Collection Development Grant when applying.


March 13, 2024: Applications Open

April 19, 2024: Applications Due

May 3, 2024: Applicants Notified of Award

May 31, 2024: Signed Agreement Due to Indiana Humanities

September 30, 2024: Deadline to Purchase Materials

October 31, 2024: Final Reports Due

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

Explore our other grants