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Cal Poly Ethnic Studies Professor's Project Receives $10,000 Grant from Cal Humanities

A project by Cal Poly ethnic studies professor Grace Yeh has been awarded a 2013 Community Stories grant for $10,000 from Cal Humanities.

Yeh’s project, “Filipino Love Stories in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara Counties, 1920-1970,” draws upon oral history interviews and family archives. It tells the stories of how early Filipino immigrants to the agricultural region of California's Central Coast experienced romance, love, marriage and family life under challenges posed by the exclusionary social and legal structures of the time. The project will result in an online archive, a curated Web-based exhibit, and public programs that will make this history accessible and available to the community, students and scholars.

It is part of a larger ongoing effort at Cal Poly called “The Re/Collecting Project: An Ethnic Studies Memory Project of California's Central Coast.” The project aims to digitally capture and make publicly accessible the rich history of the diverse yet under-documented communities of the region.

“The images, documents, stories and mementos digitized cannot be found in any public repositories,” Yeh said. “Instead, they reside with individuals – in their family albums, in their attics or garages, in their memories.”

Cal Humanities, a nonprofit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, received more than 100 applications for its current funding cycle. Yeh's grant was one of 20 awarded.

Community Stories is a competitive grant program of Cal Humanities. Grants are awarded to projects that give expression to the extraordinary variety of histories and experiences of California's places and people to ensure that the stories can be shared widely. These narratives help people discover commonalities, appreciate their differences, and learn something new about how to live well together. 

“With our state’s incredible diversity, fostering communication and connecting people to a range of ideas is vital for our general welfare,” said Ralph Lewin, president and CEO of Cal Humanities. “Our grant award enables awardees to pursue the important work of engaging new audiences in conversations around stories of significance to Californians.” 

For information on the Cal Poly project's progress, visit the project blog at

Since 2003, Cal Humanities has supported about 400 story projects and granted more than $2.8 million to enable communities to voice, record and share histories – many previously untold or little known. Through video photography, murals, “zines,” documentary theater, and audio projects, these collected stories have been shared with broad audiences, both live and

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