/* */ <img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1706078429670727&ev=PageView &noscript=1"/> /* */

Residential Colleges Awarded Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant

February 9, 2021 - Samantha Troutman

James Madison College, Lyman Briggs College, and the Residential College of Arts and Humanities have been awarded a Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant to create a Residential Colleges Advancing Racial Equity and Advocacy (AREA) Program. The grant was submitted by Melissa Fore and Anna Pegler- Gordon (JMC), Katherine Hinko (LBC), and Vincent Delgado and Tama Hamilton-Wray (RCAH).

The AREA Program will increase collaboration across Michigan State University’s three residential colleges, building on the shared experience and interests of each college: RCAH’s community engagement and experiential learning, JMC’s deep tradition of student activism, and LBC’s robust undergraduate research opportunities. In the first year of the AREA Program, the colleges will create a student fellowship opportunity, providing additional support to students involved in advocacy work, serving as founders, leaders, and innovators of the program. Because of this, students will receive training on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, student success, leadership and community, and higher educational activism. 

In the following years, the program will include an Undergraduate Certificate and a Residential Colleges Bridge Program. The Undergraduate Certificate will focus on racial equity and activism, with students completing coursework and activities to demonstrate their proficient knowledge and practice in racial justice work. It will provide a guided framework to recognize existing student engagement on such issues, as well as expand the cohort of students as advocates for racial equity. The Bridge Program, for students with financial need, will increase BIPOC student recruitment and retention by introducing middle and high school students to the residential colleges through joint programs. The aim for this program is to increase the colleges’ recruitment of BIPOC and retaining the students as members of the community as they find success in their careers.

During the grant period, the program will offer a Cross-College Racial Equity and Advocacy Teach-in, modeled on the highly successful teach-in held in 2018. The teach-in will combine intellectual and social development with activism, empowering all participants to be teachers, learners, and agents of change.

In addition, the AREA Program will combine additional workshops on developing the program as well as professional development programs around racial equity. Students, staff, and faculty will be paired or grouped together to facilitate multidisciplinary and intergenerational learning.

After the three-year funding period from the grant, the AREA Project will be sustained through continued support from the residential colleges. Its components are designed to expand understanding of issues surrounding racial equity, to implement new inclusive programs, and to provide academic, mentoring and material support for the outstanding work that our students, faculty and staff already do in promoting equity.


Story originally posted on the James Madison College website.