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The Old Well under a clear blue sky.
Photo: Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill

The College of Arts & Sciences awarded 13 academic departments and programs a total of $36,000 in grants to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as part of its inaugural
DEI Grants for Unit-Level Support program.  

The grant program supports projects that both broadly benefit the awarded unit and support the university’s diversity mission to cultivate an inclusive and supportive environment where every community member feels valued and has an opportunity to add value. 

“DEI takes place at a range of levels,” said Karla Slocum, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. “With more than 40 academic departments in the College, it is vital that the Dean’s Office supports the equity and inclusion work that our colleagues are leading for the betterment of their faculty, staff and students.”   

The College opened applications for this year’s grants in March and expected to award six grants of up to $5,000 each. Upon receiving exceptional grant applications across the board, the College more than doubled its expected number of awards.  

“It was both exciting and gratifying to see the vast number and range of proposals we received to take up innovative DEI projects or fortify existing efforts,” Slocum said. “I regret that we weren’t able to fund all of the deserving projects, but I am grateful especially to our Diversity Liaisons (DLs) who submitted the proposals in most cases. The proposals prove that our DLs, alongside department chairs, are leaders in exploring and demonstrating the DEI work that we need and can do.”  

Funded proposals included an initiative to create a field guide detailing policy for safe and inclusive fieldwork by the department of earth, marine and environmental sciences and the hosting of faculty mentoring workshops in the women and gender studies department. A full list of grant recipients and projects can be found below. 

2022 DEI Grants for Unit-Level Support awardees:  

  • Biology: To support DEI speakers and research to understand retention of Black majors 
  • Chemistry: To support a climate survey 
  • City and regional planning: To support DEI course enhancement grants for faculty, a speaker series on community engagement, and DEI training for department members  
  • Computer science: To create a DEI ambassador program toward increasing visibility of the major for underrepresented students 
  • Earth, marine and environmental sciences: To develop a policy guide for safe and inclusive fieldwork 
  • Environment, ecology and energy program: To update the department website, improving promotion and explanation of the major toward achieving greater diversity and inclusion  
  • Exercise and sport science: To support inclusivity training at a department retreat  
  • Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures: To support lectures and conversations on diversity 
  • History: To support a critical conversations series on microaggressions, climate, retention and recruitment 
  • Music: To support the creation of a DEI committee devoted to inclusion in department programming 
  • Psychology and neuroscience: To support staff assistance of faculty and graduate students’ DEI subcommittee work 
  • Public policy: To support a speaker series on DEI efforts in institutional and programmatic work.  
  • Women and gender studies: To support mentoring workshops for department faculty 
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