Any Person, Many Stories call for proposals

Project description

The Center for Teaching Innovation (CTI) invites applications from the Cornell teaching community to participate in the “Any Person, Many Stories: Histories of Inclusion and Exclusion at Cornell” project. Faculty and full-time instructors may propose projects that embed an assignment in a course to explore histories of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Cornell.

From the embedded assignments, we will consider submitted student work for a public history digital exhibition (a mobile-friendly website) that aims to foster an abiding sense of belonging for all by sparking genuine, necessary conversations about Cornell’s past, present, and future. 

Project goal

In particular, our project goal is to collect stories about key moments, people, and places that made efforts to include marginalized groups, or conversely, moments when the institution clearly failed to include individuals based on a social identity, or grappled with racism, inequity, civil rights, or social justice on a national or international scale. 

Exhibit selection

We will select proposals based on whether the student assignments would lead to evidence-based, visually-rich narratives that highlight key moments related to the overarching project goal described above. Please see the more detailed selection criteria below. 

Project outcomes

We anticipate participating in “Any Person, Many Stories” will promote a greater sense of belonging for Cornell students, faculty, and staff. In reflecting on the past, those researching and producing stories will be able to connect with the struggles and accomplishments of previous Cornellians and develop a greater understanding of mechanisms for institutional change. For those who engage with the digital exhibition, we hope that exploring the stories of Cornellians in the past will shine light on ways ideas about diversity and inclusion, as well as individual and collective and institutional commitments to inclusion and diversity, have manifested over time.


Mini-grant award winners will receive $750.00. We anticipate awarding 5-10 grants each semester during the 2021-2022 academic year and Fall 2022.

Creating digital exhibitions frequently requires funds for digitizing historical documents. Applicants may request funds to cover the costs associated with digitization for the project as needed during the course of the project. 


All instructors who are currently teaching at Cornell are invited to submit proposals. Any instructor of record (including graduate students, visiting faculty, etc.) may apply.

In early spring 2022, we will invite participation in the project from individuals not associated with a course through a separate, open call for submissions (not grant-funded).

Do you have an idea but don't know where you fit? Email us directly:


Upon acceptance, grant awardees will:

  • develop an assignment that aligns with the “Any Person, Many Stories” project goals and embed the assignment into a course

  • meet with project staff to collaborate and clarify expectations

  • submit all relevant materials created by students at the end of the course (with appropriate permissions from students and sources) to be considered for inclusion in the “Any Person, Many Stories” digital exhibition

  • be invited to connect with other participating instructors to share project and assignment ideas and strategies

Application process

Please send questions about the application process to

Step One

Request a Consultation

To request a consultation, please fill out our submission form. A member of the “Any Person, Many Stories” project team will consult with you to think collaboratively about your project ideas. 

During the consultation, we will clarify the goals for the project, share a sample story, and help support the development of your assignment idea.

Step Two

Once your consultation is completed, if you decide to move forward, we will invite you to prepare a 1-2 page application that describes the project, intended learning outcomes, topic/themes for the project, and some possible sources to begin research (archival research, newspapers, oral history interviews, etc.)

These criteria will be used when reviewing applications: 

  • Aligns with the goals of “Any Person, Many Stories.” 

Award Schedule

2021-22 Mini-grant award schedule
Submission Timeline Date
Call for proposals released December 2, 2021
Consultations December 2 - January 7, 2022
Application deadline January 7, 2022
Award notifications January 19, 2022
Funding available February

Award Information and Duration

The funded project should be completed within the 2021-22 academic year. 

We will share submission guidelines for project materials to be considered for the “Any Person, Many Stories” website at the time of the award. All story creators  (students, faculty, staff) will be credited appropriately, with permission.

We will support you throughout the process as needed, providing feedback on assignment structure and expectations, providing orientation for students if so desired, research support, strategies for facilitating group work, etc.

Additional Resources

We invite you to review the following examples of higher education-based public history projects. While neither is an exact model for this project, they both capture student-created work with an emphasis on conveying histories through a mixture of text, images, and other media and may be helpful for your proposal brainstorming process.

Goin’ North: Stories from the first Great Migration to Philadelphia

Goin’ North, "... students have helped create a multifaceted website that serves as an archive of primary sources documenting the First Great Migration to Philadelphia and African American life in the city in the early 1900s, providing interlinked ways of accessing curated oral history interview content in a variety of digital platforms and media. They have given new life to old oral history interviews."

Dis/Placements: A People’s History of Uptown

Dis/Placements, is a “collaborative, digital, public history project that traces stories of everyday peoples’ resistance in the wake of urban ‘development’ in the northside Chicago neighborhood of Uptown. Anna Guevarra and Gayatri Reddy began this project in 2017, originally intending to explore the history of global Asian displacements to Chicago. They began this exploration in Uptown – metaphorically captured by the ‘asia on argyle’ sign that is prominently displayed on Argyle Street. In the process of doing archival and secondary research and engaging with community organizers in Uptown, they encountered the long history of peoples’ displacements and the ongoing struggles over land, housing, health care and education stemming from urban renewal policies. The Dis/Placements project, therefore, grew from there to become a story about Uptown and its vibrant, multiracial, working class histories.