Saturday, July 27, 2013

African American history is still largely neglected in American history. is a major attempt to address that need.

Dr. Quintard Taylor writes:

Friends and Colleagues:
I am sharing with you a letter of inquiry that Allison Shirk, our grant writer, just sent to the Delmas Foundation over my signature.  Allison in short, crisp language captured the essence of what is about.  This is what we do and why we do it.  That’s why I want you to see her letter.


July 25, 2013

Ms. Rachel Kimber, Foundation Administrator
Delmas Foundation
275 Madison Ave., 33rd Fl.
New York, NY 10016-1101
Dear Ms. Kimber:
Every year in February, teachers spotlight the contributions to our country made by African Americans. Yet at the same time, many legitimately question whether Black History Month is yet another form of segregation. Why set aside a month to teach a subject that should be incorporated into the curriculum all year long? Although textbooks are improving in their inclusion of under-represented groups, African American history is still largely neglected in American history. is a major attempt to address that need. At more than 10,000 pages, it is currently the largest Internet site dedicated exclusively to African American history., a nonprofit organization founded in 2007, operates with a staff of twelve volunteers and over 500 volunteer contributors from six continents. The mission of is to provide the inquisitive public with comprehensive, reliable, accurate information concerning the history of African Americans in the United States and people of African ancestry throughout the rest of the world. Our goal is to make this information available to an international audience to foster understanding through this knowledge which in turn will generate constructive change in society.’s vast array of information includes 3,000 encyclopedia entries, 120 full text primary documents, and over 5,000 books in African American history including rare texts such as the 1927 publication, Who’s Who in Religious, Fraternal, Social, Civic, and Commercial Life on the Pacific Coast. also has full text primary documents and major speeches of black activists and leaders from the 18th Century to the present. There are links to hundreds of websites that address the global history of people of African ancestry including major black museums, newspapers, magazines, and archival research centers in the United States and Canada. Our most recent addition is a list of more than 100 state or nationally recognized landmarks or monuments reflecting African American history. In every category listed above and many more that are not included, is the most comprehensive repository of information available on the Internet today. has received awards and distinctions for which we are very proud, including: the Charles Payton Award for Heritage Advocacy from the Association of King County Historical Organizations, 2011; Best Free Reference Websites for 2011 by the American Library Association; Best Hybrid Print and Electronic Resources by the New York Public Library, 2009; and was featured on American Historical Association's website, 2007. On April 2, 2010, became one of a select group of websites archived by the Library of Congress. Our most important distinction is the growth of our global audience. In 2012, just under three million people from more than 120 nations visited the pages of
We are writing to respectfully request your consideration of a grant of $10,000 to provide operating support for This funding would be used during fiscal year 2013. We are currently operating on a conservative budget made possible by the time and talents of hundreds of volunteers, and we are actively and strategically building organizational capacity to preserve and sustain this resource beyond its present status. Our organizational budget for 2013 is $79,345. We have received funding from the following foundations this year to date: 4Culture $9,060; Seattle Foundation\ GiveBIG Campaign $8,085; Starbucks Company $1,000; Wyman Youth Trust $8,000; Walt & Rita Braithwaite Family Foundation $1,000.
The goal of this project is to build organizational capacity for to preserve, disseminate, and integrate African American history. The following objectives are practical steps to further the mission of 1) To seek out and digitally archive new and existing information on African American history; and 2) To continually update and incorporate interactive components into the website to facilitate learning; and 3) To build organizational capacity including board recruitment and development, diversifying revenue to provide greater financial stability, and completing a five-year strategic plan.
Our long term goal (2-3 years) is to upgrade from the current software - Drupal 5 to the latest version, Drupal 7. Drupal is an open source content management platform used to host the data on our website. In order to upgrade the software, a four step process is needed: Planning, Preparing the current site for upgrade, Upgrading, and Testing, with each step including a lengthy process of checks and balances to ensure success.
If you have any questions, please contact me at 206-985-8553 or I realize that you receive hundreds, if not thousands of grant applications, so with all sincerity, thank you very much for your time and consideration. We are aware of your particular interest in Venice and have chosen the excerpt in the box to the right as an example from our website. We hope you can help us.

Warmest regards,

Dr. Quintard Taylor, Ph.D.

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