To study the Humanities is to understand, celebrate, and learn from our shared accomplishments and shortcomings. In 2018 the Onassis Foundation USA launched a new educational program, the Humanities Impact Program (HIP), developed by its new Director of Educational Programs, Dr. Young Richard Kim. This new program marks an important shift in the Foundation’s approach to education toward seeking broad, new, and unexpected audiences, exploring the vital links between the Humanities and other academic and practical disciplines, and initiating projects that are socially just and beneficial.

The initiatives launched through the Humanities Impact Program are informed by a set of core values. Our goals are to provide accessibility, so as to make Greek culture, in all of its manifold expressions, available to all, regardless of personal background or life circumstances; contextuality, by situating the achievements and the failings of the Greeks in their proper historical times and circumstances in order gain a fuller understanding of the Hellenic contribution to the Humanities; innovation, with an emphasis on exploring the intersection of the Humanities and Hellenic Culture with the sciences, professional disciplines, and digital platforms; relevance, recognizing that the past is a lens through which we can examine, critique, and foster positive change in the present; and social justice, to do right for all citizens, to empower them to realize their potential, and to give voice and agency to the marginalized, disadvantaged, and oppressed.

The literary and material artifacts of the past should certainly be appreciated in their own right, but they also are a means to encourage personal and communal introspection, to make us better citizens, locally and globally. 

HIP is interested in developing partnerships for the following:

  • Education at the intersection of the Humanities and STEM/Professional disciplines
  • Community college education and training
  • Diversity in Classical Studies
  • Prison education in the humanities
  • Digital Humanities

HIP 2018

Bard Prison Initiative (BPI)

The Onassis Foundation-BPI Humanities and Classics Collaboration will support the expansion of courses in Greek culture, philosophy, humanities, arts, and politics, both within the BPI campuses and at BPI’s Microcollege program at the Brooklyn Public Library. The collaboration also offers support for two Onassis Foundation Teaching Fellowship in Culture and Humanities for instructors to teach in BPI’s national consortium of prison education programs, as well as support for a series of distinguished lecturers across BPI’s programs.

Brad College

Washington University in St. Louis

Wesleyan University

The Paideia Institute

The Onassis Postdoctoral Fellow for Humanities Education and Outreach will work closely with the Paideia staff to develop an educational curriculum based on ancient Greek language and culture for K-12 students. Building on its successful Aequora after-school enrichment program, the Paideia Institute will produce Greek-based outreach materials to be piloted at select public schools and afterschool programs, especially in economically distressed areas in New York City, ultimately to provide free access to high-quality educational materials for teachers, to hone students’ English literacy through the study of ancient Greek, and to generate excitement and lasting interest in the rich heritage of Greece.

Richard Stockton University

The Onassis Diversity Scholarships in Hellenic Studies Fund will offer scholarships to minority undergraduate students to travel to Greece and Cyprus to participate in short exchange programs with students in partner institutions, including the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Athens, and the European University of Cyprus. The opportunity to travel and to engage in cultural exchange without the heavy burden of financial concerns will enable diverse students of all major fields of study to engage with and learn about Hellenic Studies.

University of Michigan

The Onassis Distinguished Diversity Scholarship for Graduate Study Fund will provide scholarships to students in the Department of Classical Studies’ Bridge M.A. program, which is designed to prepare graduate students of diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds to enter doctoral programs in Classics. The scholarships will enable these students to engage in overseas research, archaeological projects, and further language study.  

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