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An etching from a painting of a slave auction in 1861 in Virginia. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation granted $1.4 million to Michigan State University's Enslaved.org, a database developed by MSU researchers containing millions of records cataloging the lives of enslaved Africans and their descendants.

Why it matters: The open-access research platform, developed by historians, archivists, librarians, genealogists, data scientists and the general public, contains records on more than 600,000 people through which anyone can see the lives of the enslaved in richer detail.

What they're saying: "The early response to the Enslaved.org project has been overwhelmingly positive, but it also speaks to the great amount of work still to be done," said Dean Rehberger, principal investigator and director of Matrix, MSU's Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences.

  • “While we continue to digitize records, such as those that are handwritten, to preserve them, we know there is more to each person’s story,” Walter Hawthorne, project co-investigator, professor of African history and associate dean of academic and student affairs in MSU’s College of Social Science, said.

The big picture: The Mellon grant will help researchers expand the reach of the project by refining the data infrastructure, publishing more datasets and narrative stories and introducing new features for data visualizations.

Go deeper

CDC: Vaccinated people should get tested after exposure even if they show no symptoms

A person gets a COVID-19 test outside The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revised its COVID-19 testing guidance for fully vaccinated people, recommending tests after exposure even if they don't show any symptoms.

Flashback: The agency previously said that fully vaccinated people did not need tests after coming into contact with an infected person unless they experienced symptoms.

Ubisoft workers demand company accountability in open letter

Photo: Frederic Brown / Getty Images

Close to 500 current and former employees of “Assassin’s Creed” publisher Ubisoft are standing in solidarity with protesting game developers at Activision Blizzard with a letter that criticizes their company's handling of sexual misconduct.

Why it matters: Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard workers are framing the actions as part of a bigger movement meant to have lasting change in the industry and its culture.

Heat dome roasts Northwest, Central states as "derecho" threat looms in Midwest

Weather map showing a sprawling heat dome centered over Kansas on July 30, 2021. (WeatherBell.com)

The latest in a series of relentless heat waves is bringing dangerously hot temperatures to a the Central U.S. on Wednesday, and will contribute to a severe thunderstorm outbreak across the Upper Midwest. The heat will expand in scope toward the end of the week.

The big picture: Heat watches, warnings and advisories are in effect across 19 states, from Portland, Oregon east to Minneapolis, and running all the way south to New Orleans. Temperatures of between 10°F and 15°F above average in these areas along with high humidity poses a public health threat.

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