culture and heritage

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots."

-Marcus Garvey

On Heritage

Hold on to what is good, Even if it's a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, Even if it's a tree that stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do, Even if it's a long way from here. Hold on to your life, Even if it's easier to let go. Hold on to my hand, Even if someday I'll be gone away from you."

- Crowfoot, warrior and orator 1830 - 1890 In memoriam

The Value of Culture

"A people's relationship to their heritage is the same as the relationship of a  child to its mother."

John Henrik Clark


Culture helps shape identity, amplifies a sense of belonging, and is self-affirming. It feeds the soul. It motivates.  For a long while Hannah staff observed the relationship between cultural responsiveness and achievement.  We saw the excitement and huge learning spurts generated during the culturally driven Freedom School summer experience, and a return to a type of malaise and disinterest when the school year resumed.  Numerous publications including Zaretta Hammond, Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain and Django Paris,  Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies: Teaching and Learning for Justice in a Changing World, validate our findings - that there is a direct linkage between cultural affirmation and achievement.  

As a result, we firmly hold that cultural responsiveness is a non-negotiable aspect of the work we do and foundational in unearthing the potential of our youth and helping them navigate educational systems that were not designed with them in mind.  Hannah no longer views our work through a cultural lens, but actively promotes and develops models that celebrate cultural identity - models that show promise in changing the paradigm for students of color. For us, education and the cultural arts operate in tandem to inspire, affirm, and expand potential, possibility, and opportunity. Together they enliven communities, strengthen bonds among diverse populations, and inspire young people to beyond their imaginations.

Learning Community

Learning Together for Change

Race remains the most volatile flashpoint in our society.  The killing of unarmed Black men and women, the reemergence of armed militia challenging peaceful protesters, the racial disparities unmasked by the corona virus epidemic, black and brown voter suppression ploys,  children and families caged at the border only amplify the highly charged atmosphere that we have come to know in 2020.

The Hannah Project believes in the power of information to change attitudes, behavior, and systems. That is why in the fall of 2019 Hannah made a commitment to begin a series of learning communities to build shared knowledge, a common analysis, and mutual understanding of the American past that has given rise to the injustices that plague us. We view learning communities as a starting point in bridging the divides and arriving at equitable solutions - safe spaces to explore, discover, HEAL.  

Join Us On This Quest