• • • Grant application deadline extended to July 15, 2022! • • •

The Diversity in Local History (DLH) program is funded by the Washington State Legislature and awards grants for paid internships that support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at heritage organizations that increase the stories they tell and the communities they serve.

Through a competitive process, the Washington State Historical Society will provide grants up to $15,000 for projects that will partner emerging professionals in the heritage sector with local history museums and historical societies. The program will enable organizations to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into their practices, and promote a long-term focus on inclusive history practices. The goal of this program is to support efforts to address institutional bias and implement new practices that aim to ensure collections, public programs, and internal policies serve all members of the community and advance inclusive history.

The Diversity in Local History grants are NOW OPEN to all heritage organizations in Washington State, regardless of an existing track record of commitment to DEI work. WSHS recognizes that achieving equity is essential to the long-term health of the statewide heritage sector and seeks to support heritage organizations in moving forward with DEI work, from any starting point.

Thank you for your interest in this exciting new program. For questions, please email our DEI Specialist, Andre Jimenez, at DLH@wshs.wa.gov.

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Learn More

Program Guidelines

Carefully read the full program guidelines document before applying. The guidelines detail program eligibility, criteria, process, and other stipulations. Applicants are encouraged to join DLH staff for workshops and office hours for further information about the program and expectations.

Download Guidelines (PDF)
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Application Support

Grant Workshop

Join DLH staff as they walk through the application and cover grantee eligibility and responsibilities. Then hear from a current DLH grantees, Devonshire Lokke from the Holocaust Center for Humanity and Ellie DiPietro from the Jefferson County Historical Society, who will discuss their experiences as grantees and the project work they completed.

Watch Recording
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Deadline extended!

Grant Application

All applications must be submitted through the Washington State Historical Society’s Heritage Portal.

If you have already used the portal for other grant opportunities, you should use your existing login information and do not need to re-register. If you are new to the portal, please note that it can take 24 hours, or until the next business day, to complete the registration process.

Applications are due July 15th, 2022 at 5PM PST.

Go to the portal
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For students

Prospective Interns

Prospective interns may submit a statement of interest form through the Heritage Portal any time, or contact organizations directly after projects are announced. Granted heritage organizations will be responsible for reaching out to interns directly to make offers of employment.

  • May 11, 2022: Statement of interest form available in the portal
  • July 20, 2022: Projects announced; intern selection begins
  • July 21, 2022: Student/intern open house at WSHM in Tacoma

If you have already used the portal, you do not need to re-register. If you are new to the portal, please note that it can take 24 hours, or until the next business day, to complete the registration process.

Go to the Portal

Timeline and Important Dates

May 11, 2022 Grant application opens
May 24, 2022 Grant workshop (register here)
May 31, 2022 Academic Advisor/Intern workshop (register here)
June 7-28, 2022 Weekly Office Hours (Tuesdays) from 10AM-1PM (join here)
July 15, 2022 Grant applications due at 5PM PST
July 21, 2022 Student/intern open house at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma with a project overview info session
Mid-August 2022 Grants awards announced and descriptions posted in the Heritage Portal
August 2022 Grantee contracting (organizations should select their intern by Monday, August 29, 2022 to expect contract execution before October 1, 2022)
September 2022 - June 2023 Project work and monitoring (work may only begin after contracts are executed)
June 30, 2023 Grant projects completed, final reports submitted

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for this program?

Eligible organization applicants include nonprofits, tribal organizations, and local governmental entities in Washington State who have a mission to preserve and interpret history and heritage for the general public.

Eligible interns must be:

a.) currently enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education in Washington State, or
b.) have graduated within the last two years from an accredited institution of higher education and be currently residing in Washington State.

Both undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply. Prospective interns should have an academic area of focus in a field related to history or humanities topics. (See guidelines for more information.)

What kinds of projects will be funded?

Proposals must support the integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into an organization’s operations and promote a long-term focus on inclusive history practices.

Projects may be based in any aspect of a heritage organization’s functions, such as operations, exhibits, archives, or community engagement. Potential eligible project ideas might include:

  • Completing an organizational DEI assessment
  • Creating DEI policies and a public statement of commitment to equitable practices
  • Researching an organization’s history to better understand its relationship to marginalized groups in the past and plan for future inclusivity
  • Adapting current exhibits/programs to be more accessible to all audiences
  • Completing a collections audit to see what stories and histories are missing
  • Consulting with local Tribal nations to learn about and better interpret shared history
  • Beginning or increasing efforts toward researching or collecting stories from underrepresented groups in a community
  • Creating an exhibit or public program that builds on the diverse histories/stories an organization has begun researching and collecting

Please note that grant funds cover intern pay only and no other project costs are eligible for grant reimbursement. Ineligible costs include (but are not limited to) travel, lodging, project supplies, printing, exhibit/signage fabrication, software, operating expenses, and other staff time.

How much grant funding can an organization ask for?

The maximum grant request for projects is $15,000.

Grant requests will be based on the number of project hours proposed for the intern(s) who must be paid at a rate of at least $18/hour.

Grants are awarded on a reimbursement basis only. Grantees must have sufficient funds on hand to pay interns at least twice per month throughout the project and grant funds will only be dispersed upon the grantee’s submittal of documentation of payment to the intern(s).

No match is required for this grant.

How will the grant applications be reviewed/scored?

The DLH Advisory Panel, a volunteer group of leaders from the heritage community will evaluate the organization applications on the following criteria:

  • Degree to which the proposed project improves the diversity of the historical narrative of the applicant organization and/or helps bring DEI concepts and practices to applicant operations
  • Degree to which the proposed project will broaden the applicant organization’s audience, contribute to audience diversity, and leverage community engagement
  • Degree to which the proposed project promotes the long-term sustainability and stability of the applicant organization
  • Demonstration of the following:
    • Clearly identified project goals, outcomes, and deliverables
    • Commitment of organization to DEI work and ability of organization to leverage proposed project into future DEI planning and work
    • Adequate personnel, resources, and finances to support the project and intern
    • Realistic scope and timeframe of proposed project
  • Geographic distribution of funds
  • General quality and completeness of application

How do I apply?

All applications must be submitted through the Washington State Historical Society Heritage Portal, accessed at: washingtonhistory.org/heritageportal

  • Organizations must create an organizational profile in the portal. (Multiple individuals may be affiliated with one organization and edit a grant request within the portal.)
  • Interns will create an individual login only.

After a portal account has been registered, that registration will be reviewed; then, users will receive a confirmation email and will be able to set their password and login information. Please note that it can take 24 hours or until the next business day to complete the registration process.

Once registration is complete, users will be able to apply for the Diversity in Local History grant through the portal dashboard.