Anti-racism program receives $ 500,000 donation – The Middlebury Campus

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The CDEI uses its $ 105,000 to provide grants to departments or programs working on anti-racist projects.

A year after Middlebury received a donation of $ 500,000 to support anti-racism programs, seven projects received funding and six started in college departments. President Laurie Patton currently oversees about half of the donation, which has yet to be allocated, while Diversity Director Miguel Fernández oversees the remaining $ 250,000. Among these funds, $ 200,000 will be spent on the Vermont campus and $ 50,000 for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey (MIIS).

Faculty Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (CDEI) received $ 105,000, used to provide grants to departments or programs working on long-term projects to combat institutional racism. Film and Media Culture Professor David Miranda Hardy is the President of CDEI and oversees the grant process.

“The idea of ​​the grants is to find a very specific point of intervention in the academic units,” said Hardy. “We felt that an injection of funding could encourage professors who are already interested in working in this direction. ”

Six of the projects are already underway and applications are being accepted as they arise. Grants are capped at $ 8,000 each.

One of the seven scholarships goes to the Department of Economics to support students of color.

“The department’s climate for minority students was significantly different from that for white students, so they decided to create a mentoring system that will also improve access to professional opportunities,” said Hardy.

The Theater Department uses its grant for curriculum review with the help of experts in curriculum decolonization. The Department of Gender, Sexuality and Feminism Studies uses grant money to develop a certificate in medical humanities.

“This will integrate a feminist and anti-racist lens into the pre-health journey, which was based on the experiences of recent alumni entering the health profession,” said Hardy.

The Luso-Hispanic Studies Department is modifying its curriculum to provide better learning experiences for heritage speakers who learned Spanish in a non-academic setting. Another grant goes to Beyond The Page, a group that combines theatrical performances with other academic disciplines.

The ongoing final project is an initiative led by students from the Education Department to develop a second seminar on anti-racism. In addition, the Writing and Rhetoric program will soon launch a project to improve anti-racist pedagogies in college writing classes.

The Admissions Office received another $ 10,000 from the donation to participate in the Ron Brown Fellowship Program, a college and leadership scholarship program for black students, for two years.

The Twilight project received $ 15,000, enabling Rebekah Irwin, Director and Curator of Special Collections and Archives, to hire a part-time archivist, Kaitlin Buerge ’13. Buerge, who recently completed his term as an archivist at the end of the project, was responsible for outreach to under-represented student groups and for curating and archiving content like social media and publications and projects. students.

“The Twilight Archivist has devoted technical expertise and time to anti-oppressive cataloging standards, addressing racism, sexism, heterosexism and other systems of exclusion in our catalog and archival descriptions.” , Irwin said in an email to The Campus. Some examples of Buerge’s work include the Repair cataloging project and Community responses to anti-black racism and police violence.

A project organized by educational studies professor Tara Affolter received $ 6,000 to fund a series of short films and a live performance exploring what anti-racism would look like in each academic discipline.

Affolter hired six students to interview peers across all departments and is also working with Beyond The Page to turn the interviews into a screenplay for a live theatrical performance.

“We want to use the arts to see what we could be, staying in a space of hope and possibility,” Affolter said.

The live performance will take place on December 11, with a filmed version coming out in Spring 2022. The filmed version will be used to help with faculty professional development spaces such as workshops and faculty meetings.

The final sum of $ 5,000 has been set aside to join the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, an organization dedicated to the training of teachers and students in a professional environment. The balance of $ 59,000 for ongoing anti-racism projects proposed by the Anti-racism Task Force is overseen by Associate Dance Teacher Christal Brown.

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies also received funding to hire two graduate assistants to work on anti-racism initiatives and support other anti-racism work at the institute.


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