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  • Writer's pictureMegan Lewis

H.A.P.S. is an Official Non-Profit!

I have some fantastic news - H.A.P.S. was awarded non-profit status by the IRS this week!! I am insanely excited, as it's opened many fundraising doors for us. Your donations are now tax-deductible (at least in the USA), and H.A.P.S. is likewise excluded from taxation.

In light of the recent protests and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, we're also working to iron out some details for a new grant program - designed specifically to help support Black students working on Ancient Near Eastern studies and adjacent fields. HAPS believes that the ancient world is for everyone...but the study of it is carried out by researchers that are almost exclusively white.

This has been a long-term goal of ours for a while, but talking to @RomanAegyptiaca last week on Digital Hammurabi, and reading the #BlackintheIvory accounts that have been trending on Twitter, highlighted just how racist academia is, and how far we still have to go in order to make the study of the Ancient Near East a truly inclusive place. It's become abundantly clear that this isn't a long-term goal, but an immediate need that we can help fill.

I believe we have lost one donor already to my outrageous insistence on believing that #BlackLiveMatter, and that Black people face systematic, pervasive racism on a daily basis. It is possible that others will follow, and I'm deeply sorry for that. The loss doesn't hurt me at all, but it does hurt HAPS' ability to support struggling Ph.D. students. However, this is something I, and the board, feel incredibly strongly about, and we will not be changing our stance. So, Joshua and I will be donating $2,000 annually from what we make through Digital Hammurabi (superchats, ad revenue, and book sales) to HAPS to help support Black students. Exactly what this grant will look like is still being worked out by the H.A.P.S. board, but I hope to be able to share more details soon.

If you would also like to help us help diversify our field of research, then we would be thrilled to have your support! We currently take PayPal, or you can sign up for a recurring donation via our H.A.P.S. Patreon. If you specifically want your donation to go towards our new program, please specify that it's for "Black Students Matter"!

Thank you, as ever, to our amazing board for their enthusiasm and passion - Sara Mohr, E.L. Meszaros, and William Reed, and thank YOU for your interest in and support of what we do.

If you have comments, questions, or feedback, please don't hesitate to get in touch - leave a comment below, tweet me, or email me (!

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