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Diversity Innovation Grant Program

As part of Monmouth University’s commitment to creating an inclusive, affirming, and equitable campus community, the Office of the Provost and Intercultural Center launched a new Diversity Innovation Grant (DIG) pilot program in the Spring of 2021 to provide encouragement and financial support to members of the campus community who want to take an active role in our shared commitment.

In the first round of submissions, several academic, research and co-curricular initiatives benefited from DIG support. Programs included, “Paradoxical Paradise: An African American Oral History and Mapping Project on Asbury Park,” a featured speaker program exploring “Genetics, Genomics, and Racism,” and an oral history project commemorating distinguished African American mathematical physicist and former Monmouth faculty member, Walter McAfee Ph.D,’85HN, through interviews with his former colleagues and family members. Additional developing programs throughout the Spring semester that have received funding support include the Monmouth University Student Organizer Clinic (MU-SOC), The 369th: Together, We Rose documentary project, Black Student-Athletes: Paving the Way, Monmouth Artists for Diversity and Inclusion (MADI), Recreating the Black Brain Belt: Red Bank, New Jersey, and the forthcoming Learn to be Antiracist teaching and pedagogy resource site.

While each of the initial programs is a self-contained effort being lead by faculty, staff, and students, they are also part of broader institutional efforts to advance an inclusive campus culture. With the goal of encouraging understanding and learning, the DIG program will continue to invest in relationship-building across differences, and offer new ways to promote equity and diversity to achieve our goal of inclusive campus culture.

Following the success of the initial pilot, the DIG program will continue to invite projects that encourage conversation, learning, and connection across race, religion, class, immigration status, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, and nationality to create opportunities for belonging and to strengthen a sense of community.

Applicants must be a current Monmouth University student/student organization, staff, or faculty member. We anticipate continuing to make awards across all campus roles, and strongly encourage collaborative applications from all members of the campus community. Student applicants must be affiliated with a registered student organization with a budgetary account number or have the support and/or partnership with an academic or administrative department.  Further application guidelines are available for review.

Priority will be given to:

  • Proposals that promote cross-campus, intergroup, and partnership approaches to support community-building.
  • Proposals that will have a lasting impact, such as a learning community or proposed integration of diversity into curriculum or series of events.
  • Proposals that demonstrate the ability to continue beyond the first year of funding. Funds are primarily considered one-time seed funds, however, this is also a vehicle to request co-sponsorship for ongoing activity.

Proposals will be evaluated based on:

  • Relevance to advancing an inclusive campus culture.
  • Nature of impact on participants.
  • Budget feasibility, realistic accounting for costs. Note: costs or fees associated with any outside speakers must be reflected in your budget.
  • Demonstrated campus partner commitment.
  • The feasibility that the project can be completed in the time outlined.

Project Examples:

  • Creating a learning community to promote the development of knowledge or skill-building through a facilitated reading group, series of workshops, or training and planned activities to extend the skills learned.
  • Creating or sustaining a key resource to fill a campus need, that will advance an inclusive culture.
  • Speaker, lecture, or performer honorariums.
  • Research project support.
  • Innovations in teaching and performance that aim to promote inclusion in the classroom.
  • Activities that promote community-building, using an intergroup, multi-unit, or partnership approach.
  • One-time or ongoing activities that focus on recruitment and retention of historically underrepresented students, faculty, and staff.
  • Conference and presentation support as long as it is within current University travel guidelines.