Updates Regarding the Addressing Racism Initiative

October 14, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to provide updates about the Office of the Provost’s Addressing Racism initiative:

  1. Faculty Seed Grant Initiative. This summer, we launched a new seed grant funding opportunity for faculty projects that engage with issues of structural racism and enable collaborative dialogue, action, and insight for systemic change. After we received an overwhelming response to the call for proposals, members of the Board of Trustees made generous contributions that more than doubled the original expected number of funded projects. We are tremendously grateful for this support. The Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life also funded a project in their discipline. The full listing of Fall 2020 Faculty Seed Grant awardees is available here.
  2. Book Club Panel and Discussions. In collaboration with our colleagues at Teachers College and Barnard College, we will host a panel discussion on historian Noel Ignatiev’s How the Irish Became White on Friday, October 16 at 10:30 a.m. This will be followed by a 45-minute breakout book club conversation. Faculty, students, and staff are invited to participate in the book discussion, which will take place in separate breakout rooms.
  3. How To Be An Antiracist Discussion with Professor Ibram X. Kendi. On October 5, we were proud to partner with the School of Social Work to co-sponsor a conversation with Professor Ibram X. Kendi, author of the 2019 book, How To Be An Antiracist. Professor Kendi and Columbia School of Social Work Associate Professor Courtney Cogburn discussed his proposals for antiracist actions that individuals can undertake, and the broader role of institutions in creating systemic change. A recording of their conversation is available to the Columbia community until November 11th.

We look forward to continuing to engage in this vital work.

All the best,

Dennis A. Mitchell, DDS, MPH
Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement