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Advancing Community, Democracy, and Dialogue is a special grant fund established to support events and activities promoting open dialogue and civil discourse on our campus. All members of our community are invited to join in this effort.

Advancing Community, Democracy, and Dialogue Grant Funding
We are pleased to support grassroots efforts led by faculty, students, and staff to promote diverse discourse and open dialogue on critical global and domestic social issues. Grants of up to $5,000 are available to support activities such as workshops, symposia, brown bag lunches, guest speakers, and the development of curricula or resources.

Grant Criteria

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled and/or employed at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
  • Proposed projects must benefit members of the UMass community and be implemented at the university.
  • Proposed projects must address important international and/or domestic issues relevant to members of the UMass Amherst campus community.
  • Proposed projects should encourage open discussion of critical social issues and/or advance ideals of diversity in intellectual discourse.
  • Proposed projects should be collaborative in approach and practice; for example, campus partners who will participate in a project’s implementation must be identified.
  • For events involving speakers, provisions must be made for audience participation and/or question-and-answer opportunities.
  • Proposed projects can take place anytime between spring 2024 and the end of the fall 2024 semester. There will be a second call early in fall 2024 for projects to be undertaken before the end of spring 2025.
  • Student applicants must be affiliated with a registered student organization or have the administrative support of a department to which funds may be transferred.
  • Personnel costs cannot be funded.

Funding Guidelines

Grants will be awarded in amounts up to and including $5,000. We reserve the right to partially fund a proposal based on the proposed budget.

Grant Selection

Awards will be selected by the members of the Advancing Community, Democracy, and Dialogue steering committee based on input from key campus stakeholders. Proposals submitted by students or staff, or faculty proposals that are co-directed with students and/or staff members, will be reviewed during the week of February 26, 2024. Proposals rated the highest and second-highest will receive funding. Additional proposals will receive funding as the budget permits.

For projects exclusively led by faculty, awards will be selected by a subcommittee of faculty members and a representative from the Community, Democracy, and Dialogue working group.

Selected grantees will be notified and funds will be disbursed in early March.

Virtual Information Sessions

You are encouraged to meet with Linda Ziegenbein, director for the Strategic Advancement of Equity and Campus Climate at the Office of Equity and Inclusion, for virtual information sessions to review the application process, grant criteria, and best practices for submitting an effective and complete proposal; to workshop ideas for proposals; or to get support in writing proposals. Please sign up to attend for sessions between February 2 and February 22, 2024.

Note: Funded proposals are posted to this website after the close of each cycle.


portrait of Linda Ziegenbein
Linda Ziegenbein
Senior Director for Inclusion and Strategic Engagement

Contact Linda (she/her) to review the application process, learn about grant criteria, and understand best practices for submitting an effective and complete proposal for the CDD initiative, to workshop ideas for proposals, or get support in writing proposals. 

Contact Linda Ziegenbein Contact Linda Ziegenbein
Community, Democracy, and Dialogue surrounded by speech bubbles