Campus climate micro-grant project expands in its third year

Thursday, January 4, 2018

On December 20, 2017 the Campus Climate Engagement Team (CCET) awarded nearly $24,000 to 31 projects. These awards aim to improve the overall campus climate by supporting new and existing activities at a local or grassroots level. Now in its third year, the project received 67 applications, more than double the number received last year.

To qualify, projects had to be sponsored by either a registered student group or a University department. Applications were considered for their ability to address these priorities:  stretching the dialogue, increasing campus competency, increasing access and equity of marginalized populations, reaching communities beyond the campus, and building bridges by working collaboratively across two or more groups (e.g., departments, collegiate units, and student groups).

The micro-grant project is funded by Office of President Eric. W. Kaler. The awards ranged from $250 to $1000 and will go to support these projects:

  • A workshop to address underrepresentation of women in math by increasing peer mentors and role models for female undergraduates interested in majoring in math.

  • A discussion hosted by University Libraries to bring women together from across campus to identify and discuss barriers to the use of technology-rich spaces and how to address those barriers to increase access and use and create a better support network.

  • A project to increase intercultural competencies for graduate and professional students, research scientists, faculty, and staff interacting across cultures and with Indigenous communities through the Boreas Leadership Program.

  • Two University Women’s Center “Feminist Fridays” events to address sex positivity and healing justice for indigenous women and women of color.

  • The 4th Annual Upper Midwest Queer and Trans Indigenous and People of Color Conference.

  • A two-day symposium, “Diversity Matters: Meditations and Movements in the Neoliberal Educational Complex,” to engage critical perspectives on difference and activism.

  • Development of implicit bias training by a group of educators, staff, and faculty in Extension; faculty from the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS); and staff from the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED).

  • A three-day event in the School of Public Health to provide a platform for student voices about their diverse experiences and ways the school has made progress in diversity and inclusion efforts and where it still needs to make improvements.

  • A project to develop nametags that include personal pronouns for public-facing One Stop Student Services and Office of Student Finance staff to increase competence about pronouns and create more inclusive environments.

  • A dinner to bring together diverse student groups to discuss issues relevant to diversity and inclusion on campus and to make connections with each other.

  • An LGBTQ ally training to discuss issues of transphobia and homophobia in Christian communities and spaces. Cosponsored by the Wesley Foundation student group and the Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life.

  • A mini-conference to address issues of institutional access and the opportunity gap in Minnesota for indigenous students and students of color. A collaboration between the College of Education and Human Development and the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies.

  • Two peer-led workshops for the greater U community, led by a workgroup from maternal and child health programs, to learn about the benefits of creating a safe space for discussions of inclusion, how to promote inclusion within programs and curricula, barriers to inclusion, and promotion of larger networks to address these issues.

  • Support for a “Cookies and Conversation,” series led by the Science and Engineering Student Board, to address issues of diversity and inclusion in the college and on campus.

  • Peer-to-peer conversations to help students of color in the College of Biological Sciences navigate the college and the U.

  • A White Coats for Black Lives project to make the data of a 2017 climate survey available online and use the data to plan a lunch lecture about how to take action against microaggressions and how medical students can be aligned against racism and other forms of oppression.

  • Three climate conversations in the College of Design for undergraduate students who self-identify as indigenous and/or members of a historically underrepresented group to create safe spaces for sharing conversations about their experiences and how the college can make improvements.

  • A free public event that features faculty and community experts to discuss fighting stigmas and facilitating social change in marginalized communities struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health concerns.

  • Focus groups to assess student lactation-related needs and experiences on the Twin Cities campus and to identify a lactation space on campus that can provide after-hours access to students through the installation of a keypad.

  • A project to bring historically marginalized communities together to discuss mental health and mental health disparities. This project will include cultural student groups from multiple area colleges and will provide opportunities to build community.

  • Carlson Community of Color project to create a space for traditionally underrepresented students through a series of recurring lunches where Carlson School undergraduate and graduate students can build community with each other and student services staff.

  • Training to learn how to effectively work in diverse teams to achieve a common goal. The seminar, for biomedical scientists at the U, will be planned by the Empowering Women in Sciences committee.

  • An event to uplift, celebrate, and discuss the role of Black women in leadership. A collaboration between the Somali Student Association, Students for the Horn of Africa, and African Student Association, which have all-Black-women leadership boards this year.

  • A welcome lunch for international students cosponsored by the College of Design (CDES) and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) to create a space where international students feel welcomed and supported and can build relationships with faculty and staff.

  • An event to create dialogue among students from underrepresented communities on campus to discuss mental health, including perceptions and stigmas. The event will also highlight mental health resources, as well as the need for increased support for students of color.

  • The development of a U allied health collaborative to increase campus competency through interdisciplinary education and training, specifically addressing issues of the GLBTQIA community, especially transgender and gender-nonconforming communities.

  • A diversity in design workshop to engage students in grades 3-12 from underrepresented communities and to learn about and attract more students to design-related fields in the College of Design.

  • The annual Deaf and Hard of Hearing Day, which brings prospective deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students to campus, builds partnerships across departments, and brings together DHH folks from a variety of backgrounds to foster and strengthen community.

  • A Latinx lunch and learn series to bring Latinx students from across campus together for conversations and community-building and to provide a space for students, faculty, and staff to share ideas, resources, and concerns.

  • Development of an Undergraduate Admissions Guide for Recent Immigrants brochure to provide important information and a sense of welcoming and belonging for recent immigrant applicants to the U.

  • Conduct a Sacred Sites Tour for TRIO students to provide an opportunity to learn more about the history of the Dakota people and sacred sites.

See the results from the 2016-17 and 2015-16 micro-grants projects.


"Perspectives" stories are the views and opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect any official position of the University of Minnesota.