Haverford College Receives Grant from Lumina Foundation's Fund for Racial Justice and Equity
The College was selected from more than 300 grant proposals to fund three interrelated initiatives to create a more egalitarian learning community that supports students of color and culturally sustaining pedagogical practices.
Haverford College received a $50,000 grant from Lumina Foundation's Fund for Racial Justice and Equity, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, to fund three interrelated initiatives: a faculty seminar on inclusive classroom pedagogies, a pilot of an intensive advising and mentoring program for incoming students, and a strategic peer-mentoring program for students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
From a pool of 312 nation-wide applicants, Haverford College was one of just 19 colleges and universities selected to receive funding from Lumina’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity. The fund was created last year in response to racially motivated violence in Charlottesville on the campus of the University of Virginia.
The grants, which were announced June 12, were given in response to what the foundation saw as an urgent need to improve the atmosphere around race on campuses across the country.
“As a philanthropic leader, Lumina shares a deep passion and concern about the nation’s racial climate, especially on college campuses,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “These campuses have shown a willingness to address racial disparities at a systemic level: They recognize that achieving equitable results is about more than promoting diversity—it's about whether the institution fosters a climate in which every student feels welcome and has the same opportunity to earn a degree or certificate of value, regardless of race or ethnicity.”
In partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Lumina evaluated grant applications submitted in response to a request for proposals. The number of responses indicates a strong desire throughout higher education to improve campus culture through community dialogues, faculty and staff development, and other creative approaches. Lumina received proposals from a wide breadth of institutions, including two- and four-year, public and private, large and small, and minority-serving.
"The support from Lumina and the Rockefeller Foundation comes at a crucial time for us on campus since the Council on Diversity and Inclusion has fostered, throughout the community, a strong sense of our shared commitment to diversity and racial equity, manifest in the extraordinary work that is being done across campus that will be supported through the Lumina grant," said Theresa Tensuan, dean for Diversity and Community Engagement and director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. "These new initiatives are designed to create the kinds of structural changes that address what Professor Alison Cook-Sather has defined as the educational debt that the institution owes to those students whose diverse experiences and ways of knowing can provide the catalyst for a transformation in our practices of teaching and learning. With the support of this grant, we will be able to move forward in developing the capacities of faculty, staff, and students to create a more egalitarian learning community that supports students of color and culturally sustaining pedagogical practices."
Those initiatives include Cook-Sather's work with faculty members on inclusive pedagogical practices through Teaching and Learning Institute workshops and seminars focused on creating inclusive classrooms; Dean of Academic Affairs Phil Bean, Provost Fran Blase, and Dean of First Year Students Katrina Glanzer's initiative to cultivate robust mentoring practices through a re-articulation of advising practices over the course of students' first and second years on campus; and the work of Director of the Office of Academic Resources Brian Cuzzolina, Visiting Assistant Chemistry Professor Stephen Podowitz-Thomas, and Tomas Aramburu '19 to create more open avenues of access to opportunities in the STEM fields for students of color.
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Lumina envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. The Foundation’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.