Winners of the 2021 Read Africa Grant Program 

The African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to announce the winners of the Read Africa grant competition. Grants will be given to public libraries throughout Wisconsin in order to enrich their collections with new titles that will enable readers to deepen their understanding of Africa. Over $20,000 in funding will be distributed to 34 libraries, representing 14 of Wisconsin’s 16 library systems.  

The winning proposals came from the following libraries. Their proposals will be fully funded: 

Appleton Public Library, Burlington Public Library, Eager Free Public Library, Jane Morgan Memorial Library, Kenosha Public Library, Kewaunee Public Library, Manitowoc Public Library, Mead Public Library, Menomonee Falls Public Library, Milton Public Library, Pepin Public Library, Poy Sippi Library, Prescott Public Library, Soldiers Grove Public Library, Sparta Free Library, and Washburn Public Library. 

The following proposals will receive partial funding for their proposals: 

Amery Area Public Library, Beloit Public Library, Brown County Library, Cedarburg Public Library, Clinton Public Library, Colfax Public Library, Edgerton Public Library, E.D. Locke Public Library, Hammond Community Library, Evelyn Goldberg Briggs Memorial Library, La Crosse Public Library, Madison Public Library, McIntosh Memorial Library, Platteville Public Library, Shawano County Library, Stoughton Public Library, Sun Prairie Public Library, and W.J. Niederkorn Library. 

Associate Director of UW-Madison’s African Studies Program, Aleia McCord, stated, “We were pleased to receive so many high quality and creative proposals for the READ AFRICA program. We’re thrilled to support librarians in their efforts to offer Wisconsin residents access to titles and programming that brings knowledge about the diversity of the African continent to communities across the state.“ 

Librarians were encouraged to select books from two different lists. The first, the African Books List, was curated by Ainehi Edoro-Glines(Assistant Professor of English and African Cultural Studies) and Vincent Ogoti (Ph.D. candidate, African Cultural Studies). The second comprises winners of the Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA). Since 1991, Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association, in partnership with the Center for African Studies at Howard University, have presented this annual award to authors and illustrators of the best children’s and young adult books about Africa in an effort to promote accurate, balanced perspectives about the continent.  

“We’re thrilled to see so many libraries adding diverse information and entertainment into their library catalogs,” says Cindy Fesemyer with the WI Department of Public Instruction’s Library

Services Teams, a Read Africa partner organization. 

Looking for more ways to bring Africa into your community? The University of Wisconsin-Madison is home to one of the nation’s first and finest African Studies Programs in the nation. The African Studies Program is inspired and guided by the Wisconsin Idea to share the expertise, talents, and scholarship of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to promote the study of Africa in schools and communities across Wisconsin. We offer a range of complimentary outreach programs and personalized support to help communities expand their understanding of the lives, lands, and languages of Africa. We invite you to take advantage of this local, global resource. 

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This press release regards the winners of the Read Africa Grant Program. You can find more information about the program here, and the African Book List, curated by Dr. Ainehi Edoro-Glines and Vincent Ogoti, M.A, here.