The Dan David Prize, the largest history prize in the world, announced today that Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman, Associate Professor of Philanthropic Studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, has been selected as a winner of the 2022 prize, alongside eight other outstanding early- and mid-career scholars of history. A selection committee of eminent scholars in the historical fields assessed hundreds of nominations from around the world as part of a rigorous process to select the winners, who will each receive $300,000 to recognize their achievements to date and support their future work.
“This is a fitting honor for Professor Tyrone Freeman as it recognizes his contributions as a scholar of the history of African-American philanthropy and the impact he will continue to have on the field in the future,” said Indiana University President Pamela Whitten.
Dr. Freeman is a historian of philanthropy who researches African-American charitable giving and activism. His work invites us to rethink traditional views of philanthropy as an arena reserved for wealthy elites, and to reconsider what philanthropy is and who can engage in it, as well as how African-American communities are understood and represented. He is the author of Madam C.J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy during Jim Crow.
“I am honored to receive the Dan David Prize in History. It provides important recognition and support for my work that explores who counts as a philanthropist and what counts as philanthropy by centering African Americans as agents of giving in the past and present. Rather than defining philanthropy in limited ways and ascribing it to a small percentage of the population, history shows it is part of our common collective human heritage,” Freeman said. “This prize will enable me to continue this work and take it to even deeper and higher levels. I am very grateful to God, my wife Michelle and children, family, mentors, colleagues, the university, friends, and the Black communities of generosity that produced me.”
Dr. Freeman is widely engaged in expanding understanding of African American philanthropy and is a Research Associate at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History where he supports the History of African American Fundraising Collecting Initiative and the Origins of Philanthropy in Early America Symposium.
Dr. Freeman is part of the inaugural cohort of winners under the newly redesigned Dan David Prize. The winners’ specialties cut across a wide array of historical disciplines – from prehistorical bioarchaeology to medieval studies to modern U.S. history – and their projects explore uncharted territory in history.
“We live in a world in which the humanities, and particularly history, are devalued and attract less investment, even as it remains clear that only by deepening our knowledge of the past we can gain a better understanding of the present,” said Ariel David, board member of Prize and son of the founder. “For this reason we have chosen to focus exclusively on the historical disciplines and support emerging scholars and practitioners, within and beyond the academy, at a stage in their career when the Prize can make a bigger impact.”
Dr. Freeman’s innovative research combines history, philanthropic studies, Africana studies, and Black Women’s history to examine African American philanthropy through an interdisciplinary lens.
“By integrating research from different disciplines and challenging us to reconsider philanthropy – both its origins and history and its crucial role in our society today — Dr. Freeman brings us valuable new insights. He is an excellent young scholar who is significantly changing our understanding of philanthropy, particularly important philanthropic engagement that for too long has been overlooked by many,” said Amir Pasic, Dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
An award-winning scholar and teacher, Dr. Freeman also is Director of Undergraduate Programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Adjunct Associate Professor of Africana Studies at IUPUI.
“IUPUI is a place that nurtures innovation and emerging talent, so we are especially pleased that Dr. Freeman’s leadership is being recognized by the Dan David Prize. He is a dedicated teacher and public scholar, and that is reflected in his extensive engagement with our students, the campus community and beyond,” said Andrew R. Klein, Interim Chancellor of IUPUI.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Freeman for this significant accomplishment and acknowledgement of his work in the comments below.