Touchstones Awarded NEH Grant to Expand Innovative Programs for Veterans

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The Touchstones® Discussion Project, an education non-profit based in Stevensville, Maryland, is a 2019 recipient of a prestigious grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Dialogues on the Experience of War funding opportunity. This is the second grant awarded to Touchstones for development and implementation of innovative discussion-based programs for veterans.

With this funding, Touchstones will run a third round of the NEH-funded program launched in 2017-2018, “Completing the Odyssey: A Journey Home,” that invites veterans from five decades of conflict into collaborative discussions on the experience of war and their return to civilian life. For program replication purposes, Touchstones will train veterans to co-lead this free and inclusive program. Following the first round of this program, a Marine veteran and Touchstones-trained NEH Discussion Leader said, “This is perhaps THE key for returning veterans to reintegrate into society. All veterans would benefit, as well as the country, community and families.” This grant also funds printed versions of the program for easy access by veterans, veteran-civilian, and community groups around the world.

In addition, this grant provides for Touchstones to bring veterans and civilians together through the exploration of themes of citizenship, leadership, and community. Touchstones will develop a new program in which participants are trained to co-lead the discussions so they can bring the program to new audiences afterward.

Touchstones was founded in 1984 in the belief that all people increasingly need the skills of critical thinking and collaborative leadership for success in life and work. To achieve our mission, we use a train-the-leader method and the examination of diverse perspectives to build more effective communication, reflective thinking, and enhanced understanding in individuals and groups. Over 35 years, our discussion programs have engaged five million people in 47 countries and six languages.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

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