Advancing Community, Democracy, and Dialogue

The Spring 2024 application cycle is closed.

Community, Democracy and Dialogue (CDD)
The Community, Democracy and Dialogue (CDD) advisory working group was formed to help our community navigate challenging, complex and controversial topics in ways that broaden perspectives and diminish polarization. The CDD includes a diverse group of faculty, staff and campus leaders with expertise in many fields, including geopolitics, equity and inclusion, and communication and civil discourse. The CDD encourages engagement opportunities that promote healthy dialogue, academic inquiry, and respect for differences in addressing challenging topics.

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

Advancing Community, Democracy and Dialogue (ACDD) Grant Funding
We are pleased to support grassroots efforts led by faculty, students and staff that 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 curriculum or resources.

Some applications will be asked to be resubmitted with revisions.

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 that are relevant to members of the UMass, Amherst campus community. 
  • Proposed projects should encourage open discussion of and dialogue on critical social issues and/or advance ideals of diversity in intellectual discourse. 
  • Proposed projects should be collaborative in approach and practice; ie. campus partners who will participate in the implementation of the project must be identified. 
  • Where events involve speakers, provision 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 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 ACDD steering committee based on input from key campus stakeholders. Proposals submitted by students, 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 disbursed, in early March.

ACDD Grant Virtual Information Sessions

You are encouraged to meet with Linda Ziegenbein, Director for the Strategic Advancement of Equity and Campus Climate, 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 get support in writing proposals. Please sign up to attend for sessions between February 2 – February 22, 2024.

Questions: Contact Linda Ziegenbein, Director for the Strategic Advancement of Equity and Campus Climate, Office of Equity and Inclusion.  

Note: Funded proposals will be posted on the ACDD website.


Primary Campus Affiliation
e.g., College of Humanities and Fine Arts; Human Resources; Department of Anthropology

Supporting File Uploads

Please use this budget request form and letter of administrative support template (students only) for the uploads below.

e.g., speaker fees, food costs, printing material costs. Download this budget form and upload the completed document.
Upload requirements
Please use this template.
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