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Kennedy Institute receives $500,000 grant from Gates Foundation to target youth

The main entrance to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston. Associated Press/File/Associated Press

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate has received a $500,000 grant for a new multimedia initiative, targeting young people, the Dorchester nonprofit said Thursday.

In a statement, the institute said the money comes courtesy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and will support a project called Youth Movements set to launch this fall and open next year.

“The Institute will collaborate with youth activists in order to create an immersive and interactive visitor experience that draws upon stories of youth movements,” the statement said. “Students will serve as advisors on the project helping to create offerings that fully engage young people in civics, government, and representation. In conjunction with the Youth Movements project, the Institute will convene a national advisory group of leaders who work with young people, ensuring that the program represents wide and ongoing youth participation.”


Caroline Angel Burke, vice president of education, visitor experience, and collections at the institute, thanked the Gates Foundation in the statement.

“We are deeply appreciative of this generous grant from the Gates Foundation,” Burke said. “The Edward M. Kennedy Institute is an ideal setting for the initiative because of its traditional and interactive digital exhibition spaces, capacity to tell stories via film, digital art, and audio as well as through physical objects and other traditional museum features.”

Burke's words were echoed by the institute’s president, Mary K. Grant.

“We see an increase in young people actively advocating for political and social change,” Grant said in the statement. “These activists are organizing platforms, messages, and movements to inspire and motivate others to respond to major issues of our time.”

Kennedy died in 2009 at the age of 77 after battling brain cancer.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.