California Humanities Grant Funds Upcoming GIS Day Event

October 05, 2019


José R. Díaz-Garayúa gives a lecture at GIS Day

A $5,000 grant from California Humanities is bringing eight speakers to Stanislaus State’s annual GIS Day event to make bilingual presentations on their work and how it intertwines geography and the humanities in the pursuit of social justice.

Titled “Geography Meets Humanities: A Focus on Social Justice,” the event will be held Wednesday, Nov. 13, in MSR 130 on the Stan State campus during Geography Awareness Week. Presented in English and Spanish, it will be free and open to the public with free parking in Lot 11.

Eight speakers will cover topics that include fair trade, economic, health and political disparities and the role of big data and GIS in activism and social justice. A bilingual question-and-answer session will be part of the event.

Organizer José R. Díaz-Garayúa, assistant professor of geography and director of GIS at Stan State, said this is the first grant he’s received for GIS Day activities. He said the grant process was very competitive because there were only 20 possible awards and nearly five times as many applications.

Securing the grant, he said, helps the University educate a wide audience about the value of transdisciplinary work in the areas of geography and humanities and its application in academia and everyday life.

“With this grant, the speakers can share their stories, how geography is relevant in their work, and how they serve the advancement of society,” he said. “Simultaneously, we will make these stories accessible to our Spanish-speaking community.”

In congratulating grant recipients, California Humanities President and CEO Julie Fry noted that projects like Stan State’s GIS Day bring the complexity and diversity of California to light in new ways and ultimately help people understand each other better.

California Humanities is a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment of the Humanities. Its goal is to promote the humanities as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect Californians to each other.