ALASKA HUMANITIES FORUM

Through connection, we build community

Anchorage, AK   |  www.akhf.org

Mission

The mission of the Alaska Humanities Forum is to connect Alaskans through stories, ideas, and experiences that positively change lives and empower communities. Our vision is a culturally diverse, economically vibrant, and equitable Alaska where people are engaged, informed, and connected.

Ruling year info

1985

President & CEO

Kameron Perez-Verdia

Main address

421 W. 1st Ave, Suite 200

Anchorage, AK 99501 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

92-0042123

NTEE code info

Humanities Organizations (A70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Many of the issues that threaten the stability and health of our communities are rooted in a lack of connection, engagement, and perspective. We want to change that. The Alaska Humanities Forum designs and guides experiences that bridge distance and difference, foster connections, build capacity, and deepen understanding among Alaskans.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Sister School Exchange

The Sister School Exchange is a unique, experiential program that promotes understanding among Alaska’s urban and rural communities through cross-cultural exchanges in middle and high schools. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Alaska Native Education Program, the Sister School Exchange has engaged in cross-cultural exchanges in Alaska for the last fifteen years.

The Sister School Exchange program operates throughout the school year, matching a teacher and five students from an off-the-road-system community with a teacher and five students from urban Alaska. The Sister School teams work through a 6-8 week standards-aligned curriculum on cross-cultural understanding. The teams then complete a two way exchange, during which each team gets a chance to host their Sister School community.

Population(s) Served
Students

The Educator Cross-Cultural Immersion (ECCI) Program is an experiential program to help public school educators in urban Alaska better serve their Alaska Native students, communicate across cultural differences, and incorporate Alaska Native Ways of Knowing and Learning into their classrooms. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Alaska Native Education Program, ECCI has operated across the state of Alaska for the last fifteen years.

During the program, educators receive graduate-level credit for completing coursework in cross-culturally competent pedagogy, enhanced by an immersion experience at an Alaska Native Culture Camp. Educators attend a 1.5 day orientation in late May, travel to a Culture Camp during the summer, attend a 1.5 day debrief in September, and submit reflective coursework.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Creating Cultural Competence of Rural Early Career Teachers Project (C3-2) provides a unique experience for teachers new to the Lower Kuskokwim and Northwest Arctic regions of Alaska to better understand the traditions, heritage, values, and culture of their new home.

The humanities can be viewed as a pathway to providing humans with an in-depth understanding of their environment through the culture of its people. Side-by-side with local youth, elders, and other regional culture bearers, C3-2 Project teachers will experience cultural immersion, reflective learning, and exploration of the environment to help better prepare them for teaching and continued learning in their new home.

Support will continue throughout the school year as C3-2 Project teachers are paired with a local cultural mentor from their village. First and second year teachers, new to the profession, will also be paired with a master teacher through the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project (ASMP).

Population(s) Served
Adults

Take Wing Alaska assists students from the Lower Kuskokwim School District with the transition to urban, post-secondary education. Beginning at the end of the sophomore year and continuing through high school graduation, each student participates in three immersion experiences on the campuses of University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Pacific University and University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Take Wing Alaska guides the students in focusing not only on academic skills, but also inherent cultural strengths they can refer to and rely upon in the midst of a challenging life shift. Program staff maintains regular contact with Take Wing Alaska participants through phone calls, emails, social media, newsletters, and check-ins with students and their family members. A final component includes on-site clubs to facilitate social and emotional learning.

Population(s) Served
Students
Young adults

Leadership Anchorage is the premier leadership development program for established and emerging Alaskan leaders seeking to expand their impact in the community. We recruit a diverse cadre of leaders with a range of experiences. The focus is to deepen leadership capacity in individuals by learning through the lens of humanities, diverse group experiences, and personal reflection; all in the context of the dynamic issues leaders of Alaska currently face.

Leadership Anchorage strives to provide a "full experience" in leadership training development. Diverse participants build a network of peers, are nurtured through a mentor relationship that often continues beyond the program, prepare and implement a community service project and apply their leadership training throughout the program. Participants emerge from the program prepared to advance in and fill new leadership roles, fueled by the desire to tackle a diverse array of community problems and challenges. The program seeks to ensure that the leadership of our city represents all of its citizens.

Leadership Anchorage is designed to introduce leaders across a range of experiences- from establishing to "emerging/promising leaders" in all sectors of our community, including business, government, non-profit, neighborhood, and ethnic organizations. We build a community of accomplished professionals and civic leaders in Anchorage and Alaska. Our goal is to make sure these leadership voices are heard and are at the table in the mix of city and statewide decision-making.

Consequently, group diversity is essential. Individuals proceed through ten rigorous, full-day sessions of interviews, speaker presentations, readings and group activities designed to facilitate the development of critical leadership skill sets. The keystones of the program include: one-on-one mentoring with an individual jointly selected by participants and the program leader, a group project fulfilling an expressed need in the community, and a series of readings and exercises that bring the humanities to life. When a Leadership Anchorage class graduates, the community is enriched with individuals who know how to get things done, know how to operate in a diverse world, and think carefully about the ethical and personal demands of leadership.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Alaska Humanities Forum's Grant Program funds humanities-based projects. In order to fulfill its mission, the Forum supports grant projects that:

Educate the public in the humanities and pass on the values, methods, and wisdom of the humanities to future generations of Alaskans.

Create access to humanities resources and experiences.
Engage the public in civic dialogue and exchange.
Preserve our history.

Explore a sense of personal identity and a sense of place through history, traditions, and new ideas that support our living heritage.

Promote cross-cultural awareness and empathy.
Apply traditional bodies of wisdom to present concerns.

There are two grant programs at the Forum:

Annual Grants: Funding up to $10,000 for general humanities projects.

Mini Grants: The smallest grant program with funding up to $2,000. These projects have a rolling deadline.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Grants

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

2020 grants included CARES act funding

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Alaska Humanities Forum is dedicated to connecting Alaskans and strengthening communities across Alaska. We envision a culturally diverse, economically vibrant, and equitable Alaska where people are engaged, informed, and connected. We design, facilitate, and support experiences that bridge distance and difference - programming that shares and preserves the stories of people and places across our vast state, and explores what it means to be Alaskan.

In short: through connection, we build community.

Since its founding in 1972, the Forum has been bringing Alaskans together to think critically and to talk - across perspectives, values, and backgrounds - about things that matter. We have three overarching strategies:

1. Strengthen communities by developing, connecting, and empowering community leaders. Our Leadership development programs emphasize equity, critical thinking, and collaboration in addressing the complex economic, social, and political issues of Alaska's communities.

2. Develop Alaska's future through programs that use cultural immersion, reflective learning, and place-based exploration to better prepare and connect educators and youth in rural and urban communities across the state.

3. Increase access, engagement, and understanding by leading, hosting, and funding public events, programs, and community discussions.

Our staff is innovative, strategic, and continually learning as well as assessing community needs. We work with board members, contractors, and partner organizations and agencies to develop the skills and resources needed to deliver and continually improve our programming.

- Leadership Anchorage (LA) was founded in 1997 and now has an alumni network of over 400 people making a difference in communities across Alaska through a range of roles across sectors and industries.

- Creating Cultural Competence (C3) served 64 educators across 6 school districts in 2018. C3's impact over the past five years is significant: twice as many C3 teachers were retained in LKSD compared to non-C3 teachers; in NWABSD, 1.7 times as many C3 teachers were retained compared to non-C3 teachers. The C3 induction model becomes cost effective by year 2 or 3, depending on the scale of teacher replacement in a district. Increasing cultural competency, as the C3 Project does, increases teachers' grit and growth mindsets.

- Our youth programming served 1081 students across the state in 2019. Among participants in Take Wing Alaska, we have seen a 30-50% increase in 4-year high school graduation rates and 39% of students enrolled in post-secondary education programs.

- The Forum facilitated 44 conversations within 7 communities in 2019, bringing over 1165 people together to connect across differences and to consider new perspectives and ideas.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

ALASKA HUMANITIES FORUM
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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ALASKA HUMANITIES FORUM

Board of directors
as of 11/18/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Moira K. Smith

Enstar

Term: 2020 - 2022


Board co-chair

Kristi Williams

Calista Corporation

Term: 2019 - 2022

Bruce Botelho

Anne Hanley

Cordelia Kellie

Ilisagvik College

Aminata Taylor

Campfire Alaska

Don Rearden

UAA

Thea Bemben

Agnew::Beck

Stephen Blanchett

Juneau Arts & Humanities Council

Emily Edenshaw

Alaska Native Heritage Center

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data