Humanities in Action

The University of Illinois Humanities in Action program supports up to five undergraduate humanities students (regardless of citizenship status) who are interested in pursuing community engagement opportunities within the Champaign-Urbana community. Meet the 2023 Humanities in Action Scholars.

Applications now open!

Apply now to be a Fall 2024 Humanities in Action Scholar! The deadline to apply is March 8 at 11:59 p.m.

We CU Community Engaged Scholars, with support from the Humanities Research Institute (HRI), offers this semester-long community engagement program for humanities students at the University of Illinois. During the Fall 2024 semester, students selected to participate in the Humanities in Action program will learn to apply their humanities training in new ways while addressing a vital area of need in our Champaign-Urbana community. 

Humanities in Action is intended to help remove some of the financial barriers that prevent humanities students from taking advantage of community engagement opportunities. Selected students will receive $1000 to support their participation in the program, contingent upon meeting all program expectations. They will connect with like-minded peers, participate in workshops, and have access to mini grants to offset costs associated with their service activities. Participants will also become acquainted with HRI and the opportunities available to students studying the humanities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. At the culmination of the program, participants will learn how to communicate this experience in resumes and job applications. 

Learn more at an information session on Thursday, February 15 at 4:00 p.m. in Levis Faculty Center, Room 424.

Register for the info session

Program expectations

Students should be mindful of the following requirements and expectations when submitting their applications. Each scholar is expected to engage with their community partner 4 hours a week over 15 weeks during the Fall 2024 semester. Students also must be available to attend cohort meetings and individual meetings with a We CU representative throughout the semester. Scholars should also plan to attend We CUs end-of-year reception. 

Humanities in Action Scholars are expected to prioritize their service projects and program meetings over other extracurricular opportunities and commitments. We CU will work with students who need accommodations, and we will help students define the parameters of their projects. However, this program centers community-defined priorities, and students should expect to accommodate the changing needs of their host organizations. 

Application guidelines

  • Application form 
  • Web academic history 
  • Statements 
    • How has your humanities education shaped your understanding of your community and the world around you? (500 words)
    • Please describe a time you worked with others to address a problem, issue, or cause. (300 words)
    • Describe a time you managed multiple deadlines and commitments successfully. How did you prioritize responsibilities, and how will you draw on this experience as a Humanities in Action Scholar? (300 words)
    • How would the stipend enable you to participate in community engagement opportunities that otherwise may not be accessible to you? (300 words)
    • Required for past Humanities in Action Scholars: Why do you want to return as a Humanities in Action Scholar? How would an additional semester of support develop your understanding of the Champaign-Urbana community and further your humanities education? (300 words)

Eligibility and preference

Undergraduate humanities majors and minors at the University of Illinois are eligible to apply. Students must be enrolled in Fall 2024 and be in good academic standing (2.00 cumulative GPA). Preference is given to students from underrepresented backgrounds, including, but not limited to: 

  • Identifies with community(ies) of color 
  • Identifies with LGBTQIA community 
  • First-generation college student  
  • Low-income  
  • Parent of dependent children under the age of 18 

Students who have completed the program previously are welcome to apply, but preference is given to new applicants.

Application deadline

March 8, 2024, 11:59 p.m.


Please contact for more information.

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