CAMDEN, NJ — A $9,100 action grant awarded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities will continue to support the functions of a veterans’ narratives program at Rutgers University–Camden.

“Outside the Wire," an effort of the Writers House at Rutgers–Camden and Philadelphia-based Warrior Writers, has received a second year of funding toward its monthly writing workshops, a public program focusing on veterans’ experiences, and an exhibit of wartime communications.

For the 2019-20 academic year, the program will focus on the experiences of women, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals in the armed forces. The NJCH grant will "enable a multi-format humanities project" on the topic, said Leah Falk, program coordinator for the Writers House.

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“NJCH’s continued support makes it possible for the Writers House at Rutgers–Camden to help facilitate reflective exploration of service members' experiences, for both veterans themselves and for civilians who may otherwise be distant from military life,” Falk said. “As with many of the programs that NJCH supports, this program also emphasizes the use of the humanities in understanding the varied experiences of being American.”

The project will include a schedule of writing workshops for veterans on campus, a program that features firsthand accounts of the experiences of service members with marginalized identities, and an exhibit displaying letters sent between service members and loved ones.

A highlight of the calendar of events will be a free, public discussion on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 with curator and scholar Samuel Black, director of the African American Program at Heinz History Center, and journalist Helen Benedict, author of "The Lonely Soldier," an account of sexual assault in the armed forces. 

Creative writing workshops for veterans, led by Warrior Writers, will continue 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Writers House, located at 305 Cooper St. on the Rutgers–Camden campus. The events are free to attend and participation is not limited to Rutgers students.

Participants will work in a supportive environment and writing prompts that encourage them to reflect upon issues and experiences common among veterans and service members. Veterans interested in joining the workshop can register by contacting Leah Falk at leah.falk@camden.rutgers.edu or (856) 668-4980.

The exhibit featuring communications between service members and their loved ones, a continuation and enhancement of a project begun last year, will be produced in spring 2020. It comes as part of a partnership between the Writers House and the Office of Veterans and Military Programs at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

For additional information about the “Outside the Wire” veterans’ narrative series, visit the Rutgers–Camden Writers House website.

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