2020-2021 Campus Climate Improvement Grants

These grants, ranging from $250 to $2,500, are intended to support projects that help build community and create a more inclusive campus. The funded projects include musical groups, art exhibits, dialogues, events and more.

We Are For Freedoms: An exhibition and public program series at the University Museum of Contemporary Art (UMCA) 

Amanda Herman (Staff) and Loretta Yarlow (Staff)  
A broadening of the For Freedoms Town Hall of 2018, this interdisciplinary exhibition and program series—inspired by Norman Rockwell’s paintings of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (1941)—will use art to deepen public discussions on civic issues and core values, and advocate for equality, dialogue, and civic participation. The series includes workshops and community conversations, and will present a multi-media interactive exhibition in the museum.  

“Can We Talk?” : Targeted workshops to promote understanding across difference 

Michele Cooke (Faculty) and Raquel Bryant (Graduate Student) 
A day of workshops with Dr. Kendall Moore, to facilitate conversations across difference among STEM faculty, staff, and Graduate students, to promote inclusive and supportive cultures for underrepresented students. Topics will include Allyship, isolation, and visibility, and will provide frameworks for mentorship and cohort relationships across ranks.  

Dinner with Du Bois 

Adam Holmes (Staff), Whitney Battle-Baptiste (Faculty) 
A monthly dinner series dedicated to engaging students of color from all across campus with the legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois, his relevance today, and the work of the Du Bois Center. Each session will begin with attendees reading Du Bois’ texts, followed by discussions of the texts and related topics. Attendees receive a free copy of The Souls of Black Folk. 

UMass Unions United Labor Chorus 

Donna Vanasse (Staff), Jackie Bishop (Staff), and Karen Lederer (Staff)  
This project establishes a labor chorus open to staff from all unions, as well as non-unit members, in order to build and maintain vital community connections among University staff, celebrate our diversity, promote inclusion, relieve stress, and build solidarity. Throughout the year the chorus will sing at campus events, in-person or virtual. 

AAPI in Leadership Panel Series 

Lily Tang (Undergraduate) and C.N. Le (Faculty)  
As national events have led to deeper conversations about race and opportunities to unpack our assumptions and acknowledge the complexities of our experiences, this series is intended to increase awareness of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and their issues, and create a better understanding of diversity and build solidarity across underrepresented communities. This series will foster engagement, build community, and enhance understanding, by inviting the UMass community to engage in dialogue around social justice, diversity, and inclusion. It will also allow AAPI students the opportunity to engage with leaders across industries, and learn how to tap into their networks and platforms to promote positive change. 

Universal Design for Learning in Remote STEM Learning Environments 

Kelly McKeon (Graduate Student) and Forrest Bowlick (Faculty) 
A five-part remote workshop for STEM faculty and teaching assistants, dedicated to the design, implementation, and application of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the STEM fields. This venture is a collaboration between CNS Faculty and Grad students, Faculty from the College of Education and staff affiliated with University Without Walls. The goal is to increase accessibility and inclusivity for students with disabilities. 

Accessibility Inclusion and Disability Etiquette – A.I.D.E. 

Jeffrey Edelstein (Graduate Student) and David Paquette (Graduate Student) 
A series of online trainings centered around disability inclusion and equity, through the lens of the social model of disability. The trainings will explore concepts of disability identity, ableism, microaggressions, and their impact on inclusion and accessible design. The trainings will focus heavily on disability etiquette, and the best ways to treat members of the disabled community inclusively and respectfully, and will push members of the community to consider how ableist attitudes and environments further exacerbate challenges to accessibility and inclusion.