Anderson University has received a grant in the amount of $2,000.00 from the Indiana Humanities Council, in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant provides matching funds in support of a project, "Every Woman Has a Story: The Journeys of Immigrant Women in Indiana." Initial funds for this project were provided by a Faculty Development Committee grant.
The project will be administered by Anderson University in collaboration with Indiana Diversity Women’s Network (IDWN). The project director is Dr. Maria Scott, a professor in the Department of Sociology, Social Work, Criminal Justice and Family Science. Through this project, Scott, with the assistance of students and IDWN members, will collect stories of immigrant women’s journeys to America and their experience of adaptation and integration into Indiana communities.
"I am very excited about this project," Dr Scott stated. "We already collected the stories of nineteen immigrant and ethnically diverse women, and I am totally enthralled with what we are learning about their lives. Many have surmounted unimaginable obstacles and hardships in their life’s journey."
Scott plans to travel to Fort Wayne, Ind., to interview a few women from the Burmese refugee community. "Before I started this project, I had no idea that Fort Wayne had a refugee community from Burma/Myanmar of about four thousand, the largest settlement of Burmese refugees in the United States," she stated. "My contact there says she has quite a story to tell me. I am humbled and awed by these women’s courage and fortitude."
The impetus to collect the women’s stories came from Indiana Diversity Women’s Network. IDWN is a recently created group of diverse women, of which Scott is a founding member. IDWN’s mission is to provide opportunities throughout the state of Indiana for women of all cultural backgrounds to network, share resources, and celebrate racial and ethnic diversity. Their vision includes the creation of an "inclusive community of contributing women," which will serve as a resource for incoming immigrant women settling in Indiana.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.