Fall 2021 Addressing Racism Seed Grant Initiative Request for Proposals


The Office of the Provost is issuing a request for proposals to provide seed grant funding for full-time faculty members within the Columbia community that seek to engage with issues of structural racism. Higher education institutions have an imperative to address such racism that persists within, and outside, of academia. The goal of this initiative is to provide resources to enable collaborative dialogue, action and insight for systemic change towards racial equity. Projects should broaden or deepen understanding of racial inequities that may impact the Columbia community.  

We anticipate that awards will be funded up to $5,000. Projects that are complex, such as interdisciplinary collaborations, can be funded up to $10,000. 


Proposals should enable collaborative dialogue, action and insight for systemic change towards racial equity. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Events (panel, lecture, workshop, etc.) featuring internal or guest presenters
  • Engagement with a consultant who has demonstrated experience in and commitment to racial justice and fostering a culture of equity
  • Creative programming (digital content, art installation, musical/ dramatic performance, etc.) made available to Columbia community members
  • Programs that address racial equity within recruitment and hiring practices
  • Programs that examine admission policies and practices in relation to issues of access and equity
  • Creation of curriculum or learning resources designed to deepen the understanding of racial inequality, systemic oppression and white privilege
  • Service projects that respond to disparities caused by race-based inequities
  • Creation of archival materials (oral histories, anthologies, collaborative art, etc.) that provide evidence for historical and anthropological understandings
  • Programs or events that relate issues of racial justice to research and innovation within STEM fields or clinical practice 
  • Programs or events that address any connections between religion, spirituality and racial justice
  • Curriculum mapping project to assess curriculum components, such as intended program learning outcomes, syllabi content and instructional activities, within the framework of racial justice

Selection Criteria

A sub-committee of the Provost’s Advisory Council for the Enhancement of Faculty Diversity will review the applications. Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Proposal includes clearly-defined goals, objectives, scope, and evaluation criteria
  • Project has the potential to broaden or deepen understanding of issues of racial justice and equity that impact the Columbia community
  • Project is scalable and/or replicable 
  • Project has the potential to attract a range of university constituents, including those who have demonstrated limited engagement with issues of racial justice in the past

Application Requirements 

  • Applying Academic Unit(s)/ Faculty Member Details
  • Proposal Details
  • Budget Projection and Narrative


Please submit applications via the online submission form by Thursday, November 4, 2021.  Notifications will be made by mid-December.


Dennis A. Mitchell, DDS, MPH
Executive Vice President for University Life
Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement
[email protected] 

Iessa J. Sutton, MA
Assistant Provost for Faculty Diversity & Inclusion
[email protected] 

Kristen Barnes, MA
Associate Director for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion
[email protected] 

If you have any questions during the submission period, please contact our office at [email protected].