I never give anything—money, time, energy—unless my investment is returned at least five-fold.
My contributions to the Oklahoma Humanities Council are selfish. When I teach a workshop on African American literature and history or lead a Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma! reading and discussion group, I learn far more from the men and women who join me. Each participant shares his or her perspective, often very different from mine, and we talk about the humanities, which are—to paraphrase Alexander Pope—the proper study of human beings.
When donors from around the state match my financial contribution, I know that together we make an impact that provides benefits on a much larger scale. My contribution (indeed every donor’s gift) is important not due to its size, but because it shows commitment to this shared endeavour, this ship of many sails: history, literature, philosophy; book festivals, film screenings, community forums; scholar research, Oklahoma HUMANITIES magazine, and more.
Each person’s gift—whether it’s their time organizing an exhibit or their money to fund rural and urban seed grants or their expertise to enhance education through teacher institutes—is an investment in Oklahoma, in our towns and cities, and in each other. We are fortunate to have a strong Humanities Council deeply committed to bringing national exhibits and local programming to every Oklahoman in the state.
But for me? When I give to the OHC, what I see is a network of learning and sharing spreading through the state. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?