NCPH Grassroots Public History Award

A $750 award recognizing an individual or community organization doing important public history work in their community.

The NCPH Grassroots Public History Award was approved by the NCPH Board of Directors in 2021, and was first awarded in 2022.

2023 Winner

Chattahoochee Brick Company Descendants Coalition

2024 Submission Guidelines

The NCPH Grassroots Public History Award – Atlanta seeks to acknowledge and support individuals and community organizations who are doing important public history work in their communities. For the purposes of this award, grassroots is defined as an effort spearheaded by people on-the-ground that supports the community(ies) where they may live, work, or represent. The award consists of a $750 cash prize, a certificate, and up to three complimentary registrations to the 2024 NCPH Annual Meeting. Award winners also receive complimentary registration for the awards breakfast.

For the 2023-2024 awards cycle, the Grassroots Public History Award – Salt Lake City is open to any project completed within the state of Utah.


Projects initiated and developed by individuals, groups, or community organizations (including tribal groups) for the communities in which they live or work may be nominated. Projects must have been initiated in the last five years, but need not be completed. The group or organization’s mission and/or regular programming need not have a public history focus, but the nominated project should be geared toward public history.

We encourage submissions of unique projects that may challenge traditional notions of public history projects. You are not limited to the list below, but some examples may include:

  • Community archives or collection efforts
  • Community conversations
  • Rapid-response programming or collecting
  • Local preservation efforts
  • Tribal histories
  • Neighborhood association tours
  • Media in the form of websites, blogs, podcasts, or videos 
  • Public programs, such as a public talk or outreach activity 
  • Informal publications like brochures or research reports 
  • Exhibits
  • Mutual aid efforts
  • Reparations work
  • Projects in the visual, literary, or performing arts (ie a mural)

While the nominated project can have received financial support from, or be partnered with, a larger institution, the award money is intended for the person or group doing the on-the-ground grassroots work.

Note: If your project does not fit into these criteria or is not in the geographic region of the annual meeting, please submit to the Outstanding Public History Project Award.


Nominations should specifically address the following:

  1. The creativity or innovativeness of the project
  2. The quality of historical research and interpretation
  3. Community leadership and involvement (demonstrated by numbers of volunteer hours, letters of support, attendance at events or meetings, etc)
  4. The social, civic, and/or intellectual impact of the project in the local community

Submission Process

Individuals or organizations responsible for the project may nominate themselves, be nominated by others familiar with the project, or be nominated by the award selection committee itself. Nominations should be submitted with:

  • A written narrative of 300 to 1,000 words. The narrative will address the four criteria above and provide a clear project statement.
  • Physical or digital copies of any media (such as a DVD) or publication should be sent when possible.
  • Nominations should also include any pertinent supporting documents such as the nominee’s bio or resume/CV; information on governance, budget, and staff size if the nominee is a community organization; and public feedback or reviews if available.
  • Send this cover sheet and a copy of all materials to each of the Grassroots Public History Award Committee members (the new list will be posted summer 2023) and one to the NCPH executive office at
    127 Cavanaugh Hall – IUPUI
    425 University Blvd.
    Indianapolis, IN 46202
    [email protected]
  • Clearly mark each submission, “NCPH Grassroots Public History Award.” If emailed, nominations must be sent in one complete document (MS Word or a PDF).  Please note that materials will not be returned.

Nominations must be received (not postmarked) by December 1, 2023.

Questions about the Grassroots Public History Award? Email us at [email protected].

Past Grassroots Public History Award Winners


  • Aly Ndiaye, alias Webster, Hip-Hop Artist and Speaker