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Mini-Moccasins, Inc. Receives Humanities Kansas Grant

Updated: Mar 3, 2020

TOPEKA – Humanities Kansas, in partnership with the Mellon Foundation, recently awarded $3,987 to Mini-Moccasins, Inc. in support of “Making Lawrence That Place (3rd Annual Young Professionals Powwow+).” This program is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils.

The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry. Various cultural programs, including dancing and singing competitions and a series of discussions known as “Red Talks,” will highlight Lawrence, KS as a unique hub for Indigenous people and teach the community about the livelihoods of young Native professionals.

The Red Talks will feature six guest speakers during the 3rd Annual Young Profssionals Powwow and will be moderated by Freddy Gipp, who is also serving as the overall project director. Each speaker will talk about their experiences as an Indigenous person in Lawrence and how it has cultivated their careers to where they are now.

Those speakers include:

Paula Smith, "Our Voices Will Be Heard", a focus on the historic Lawrence Education School Board elections that took place last month with one of two Native American women securing seats at the table and what their priorities will be moving forward for Education and Lawrence.

Dr. Alex Red Corn: "An Abundance of Opportunity", a focus on how Lawrence has shaped Dr. Red Corn's career and its defining experience of living in two worlds.

Lee Meisel: "Business and Brats", a focus on how a Native owned business is thriving in Lawrence and what this could mean for other Native businesses to potentially seek new areas of investment.

Elena Diaz & Jennifer Bonilla, "A Mother's Journey", a focus on what it is like being a mother and living in Lawrence and how it has amplified their careers and what advice they have for other parents wanting to seek a better life.

Each session will be approximately one hour and will occur during the powwow. This year's powwow head staff are:

Master of Ceremony: Marshal Williamson - Calumet, Oklahoma

Arena Director: Steve Byington - Lawrence, Kansas

Head Dance Judge: Arianna Greencrow - Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Head Singing Judge: Elias Her Many Horses - Denver, Colorado

“Humanities Kansas supports projects that tell stories about Kansans in innovative ways” said Julie Mulvihill, executive director of Humanities Kansas. “This series of events puts a spotlight on Lawrence as a cultural hub for Indigenous groups and gives a space where people can showcase their talents and share their history with the public.”

About Humanities Kansas

Humanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit spearheading a movement of ideas to empower the people of Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, our pioneering programming, grants, and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights. Together with our partners and supporters, we inspire all Kansans to draw on history, literature, ethics, and culture to enrich their lives and serve the communities and state we all proudly call home. Visit

Humanities Kansas thanks The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.

For more info visit: or on Facebook at @FreddyDreamstarter

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