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Requests for Proposals

Teaching the Human Story


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek is retracing the first humans’ migration on foot out of Africa and across the globe. His 21,000-mile odyssey, Out of Eden Walk, is a decade-long experiment in slow journalism. Along the way, he is engaging with the major stories of our time, from climate change and technological innovation to mass migration and cultural survival, by giving voice to the people who inhabit those stories every day.

Salopek’s journey is demonstrating that if we choose to slow down and observe carefully, we too can rediscover our world. Just as importantly, Out of Eden Walk is reconnecting people from across the globe with their common past—and with a vision of shared humanity that transcends borders, languages, politics, religions, and continents.

The goal of this RFP is to expand the impact of Out of Eden Walk for children and youth by supporting a global network of educators who can use the initiative as a catalyst for teaching about the topics addressed by Paul Salopek’s journey. Projects may take place in a traditional classroom or in an informal/out-of-school setting for students ages 5-18. Applicants should clearly indicate the target age/grade range and number of students to be impacted. For inspiration, visit existing classroom resources from National Geographic and Out of Eden Walk Education partners, as well as National Geographic’s Learning Framework, which outlines the attitudes, skills, and knowledge that develop the explorer mindset in students.


Eligible educator projects should introduce innovative instructional strategies, scale proven teaching ideas for different audiences, or measure existing educational practices. Priority will be given to projects that aim to do two or more of the following, using the Out of Eden Walk project as a model:

  • Develop student content knowledge of the historical underpinnings of the human story
  • Foster an increase in how students value cultural diversity
  • Increase students’ understanding of our relationship with the natural world
  • Inspire students to identify and find solutions to local, regional, or global problems
  • Increase students’ geographic comprehension and storytelling abilities
  • Promote good global citizenship and build tolerance, empathy, and understanding among students, whether locally, regionally, or globally

Applicants may request up to US $15,000, although grants will typically be funded between US $5,000 and US $10,000. Up to 20% of the total requested can be used as a stipend for the applicant or team members (please see the Preparing Your Proposal page for stipend eligibility requirements and other budgetary guidance). All applications should explicitly state the plan for evaluating the impact of the work on particular student audiences.

When applying for this RFP, please select Human Journey in the Lens dropdown menu on the Project Description tab of the application.


Grant applications are reviewed quarterly.
The next application deadline is April 10, 2019


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