(CNN)The nation's largest humanities philanthropy is pledging $250 million over the next five years to help "transform the way our country's histories are told in public spaces."
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation on Wednesday announced "The Monuments Project," which aims to build new monuments, while also contextualizing and, even relocating, existing ones nationwide.
The news comes after a summer of protests that called attention to racial injustice. These demonstrations also reinvigorated interest in another issue: should statues and monuments of controversial figures be taken down?
The debate on whether to keep or tear down controversial monuments is anything but new. In fact, it has been a part of the national conversation since Dylann Roof killed nine African Americans in a South Carolina church in 2015 to start a race war.
But the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in May prompted the removal -- by protesters in some cases and city leaders in others -- of contentious statues that have riled some residents for decades, if not longer.
"Monuments, memorials, and other commemorative spaces convey both individual narratives and national values," said Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander in a statement. "They shape the histories of who we are and influence ongoing discussion about which people in our society are considered worth celebrating and remembering.