Micro-grants program enters second year

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

On December 19, the Campus Climate Engagement Team (CCET) awarded $14,970 to 18 projects that will enhance the atmosphere of respect, welcoming and belonging on the Twin Cities campus.


Called micro-grants, these awards aim to warm the emotional climate by lighting small fires all around campus. They support both new and existing projects that can, for a small investment, reap large dividends for the people—including, in some cases, children—who visit here or already call the campus their academic home.

This year’s theme is Building Bridges. It encouraged joint applications by two or more groups (e.g., departments, collegiate units, and student groups) that proposed working collaboratively. Awards ranged from $500 to $1000. A CCET project, the micro-grants are funded by Office of President Eric. W. Kaler.


The awards will go toward support of these projects:

  • An all-campus lecture on “Implicit Bias in the Academy” by Dr. Benjamin Reese, vice president for institutional equity at Duke University and Duke University Health System. Sponsors include the School of Nursing, and the school’s Diversity Committee and Student Services Office.


  • A Deaf and Hard of Hearing Day - Kids on Campus event to bring Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing (DDBHH) middle school students to campus. The day provides space for (DDBHH) folks to foster and strengthen community, to inform DDBHH students, their parents and teachers that the U welcomes them and is equipped meet their needs, and to empower DDBHH students to see themselves as college-bound.  Sponsors include the Disability Resource Center and Disabled Student Cultural Center DHH Student Ambassador Program.


  • Conversion of an existing restroom in Peik Hall to a single-use, gender-neutral restroom. Sponsors include Education Minnesota Student Chapter and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education and Human Development.


  • Global Programs and Strategy Alliance multipronged event to help GPS Alliance staff better understand diversity and inclusion issues that affect the workplace. Primary sponsors: Departments within GPS Alliance.


  • Installing keypad access to the existing lactation room in the Humphrey School to expand its hours of accessibility. Primary sponsors: The Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Learning Abroad Center, and the Lactation Advisory Committee.


  • An open house at the Weisman Art Museum to explore how the arts can promote mental health and wellbeing and to raise awareness about mental health resources on campus. The project is a collaboration with Boynton Health Services, the Student Counseling Center, and the student groups WAM Collective and Active Minds.


  • Art of Healing pop-up theatrical, interactive, and public performance events to provoke discussion of the greater trauma and health disparities borne by students of color, and ways of healing. These will be designed by a collective of women faculty of color from Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies; Interior Design, Communication Studies; Academic Health Center; Sociology; and Theater Arts & Dance.


  • A project designed around a survey to understand how students experience the social climate at the Medical School. Results will be made available to Medical School classmates through a website and presentation including speakers with expertise on implicit bias. Sponsors include White Coats for Black Lives, Student National Medical Association, and the Offices of Minority and Diversity and Student Affairs at the U of M Medical School.


  • Latinx Lunch series to bring together Latinx faculty, staff, and students to share ideas, resources, and concerns, and establish a sense of belonging and support. The lunches will also bring visibility to the community and a sense of belonging and support. Sponsors include the Latino/a Faculty and Staff Association and La Raza Student Cultural Center.


  • Latinx Social, a series of events to bring together and strengthen Latinx-based groups on campus to discuss current events and means of mutual support on campus and beyond. The socials will create a welcoming space and show students of all backgrounds the Latinx-based groups they can turn to for support. Sponsors include the Latino/a Faculty and Staff Association, La Raza Student Cultural Center, and the Society of Hispanic Engineers.


  • Community Prison Justice campus events – a film screening, World Café conversation, and community Fair - to raise awareness of mass incarceration issues current in Minnesota and the rest of America. Sponsors include the Public Affairs Student Association and community partner Voices for Racial Justice.


  • Go4 Social Justice pilot program to send pairs of staff, from different departments, around the state to take part in monthly social justice activities of their own choosing on campus and in their communities. This project expands learning gained from OED equity and diversity training. Sponsored by individual staff members from various U departments.


  • A one-day event to bring underrepresented youth from historically marginalized communities in the Twin Cities in grades 6-12 to campus for exposure to and exercises in fields taught by the College of Design. Sponsors include the College of Design, Young Builders and Designers program, Interior Design Student Association and Alpha Rho Ci.


  • Conversations hosted by the Science and Engineering Student Board and minority student groups in CSE concerning diversity, social issues within the college. Each conversation will focus on a theme related to diversity within the college. Sponsors include the College of Science and Engineering, Science and Engineering Student Board, and the Diversity and Climate Committee.


  • Six-part Racial Justice Training Series for the College of Biological Sciences that will focus on issues of race, racism and whiteness, how these issues impact CBS students, faculty and staff, and an action plan related to equity access, intercultural competence and racial diversity in support of undergraduate students. Primary sponsor is the ICC Training and Development Committee, who will be working with the Hackman Consulting Group.


  • Gatherings to foster a greater sense of community for international students with disabilities and devoting a Small World Coffee Hour to international disability rights, responsibilities and culture for the broader campus community. Sponsors include International Student & Scholar Services and the Disability Resource Center.


  • Women in Technology event and activity programming including male allies panel discussion, mentor program celebration, a film screening large group event, book group discussions and ongoing happy hour events. Sponsors include Women in Technology and Association for Computing Machinery, with plans to reach out to various student and professional groups.


  • Three days of conversations on race, social justice, and college-wide inclusivity in the College of Pharmacy to address issues of bias and equity with the intent to spark meaningful change through a dual campus approach. Sponsors include the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance, Multicultural Pharmacy Student Organization, and College Board.


Read about last year’s micro-grant awards.


University Affiliation: 
SPH Staff

Congratulations to all the award winners! Many exciting projects on this list.


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