Mission of JAM Humanities

We use history, the arts, and other humanities disciplines to challenge perspectives, increase cultural awareness, and promote social justice.

History

JAM Humanities is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 2021 by a group of friends who wanted to use their collective expertise to create projects that worked towards social justice.

Our founding board members have backgrounds primarily in the humanities, including in the visual arts, performing arts, and history, as well as extensive experience in arts administration, higher education, archives, museums, libraries, art collectives, foundations, and nonprofit community organizations. Between us, we’ve done grantwriting and grantmaking, taught university courses, curated exhibits, produced public history projects, created children’s programming, coordinated large events and conferences, served on boards, and founded nonprofit organizations, in addition to writing, researching, publishing, painting, dancing, choreographing, and sculpting.

Board of Directors

Why JAM?

J is for Justice: in this case, we mean social justice. What is social justice? A definition of it that encapsulates our work comes from Oxford Reference: “The objective of creating a fair and equal society in which each individual matters, their rights are recognized and protected, and decisions are made in ways that are fair and honest.”[1] JAM believes that the humanities can help us work towards this objective by sharing people’s experiences and perspectives through projects that are focused on education and dialogue.

A is for Arts: the arts are a powerful means of expressing human experience and a particular area of focus for JAM projects.

M is for Memory: memory is an important aspect of group identity that shapes how people interact with the past to understand themselves and others in the present. Memory is another focus area for JAM projects.

That explains our name, though it is also true that many of our board members have a special affinity for all things fermented, pickled, and otherwise preserved, including jam.

Does JAM only do arts and memory projects? No, we do work using all humanities fields, as well as projects that benefit those who work in the humanities.

Join JAM

Affiliates: if you have a project that you would like JAM to partner on, let us know. JAM is always looking for opportunities to do more good work, and welcomes partnerships with nonprofit organizations and individuals.

Volunteers: to become a JAM volunteer, complete our volunteer application.


[1] “social justice,” Oxford Reference, https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100515279.

Silhouette images are CC0 are courtesy of the Smithsonian.