Last year, the University’s Council for Inclusive Excellence, which is overseen by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, established a Diversity Mini-Grants program to fund innovative projects and programs that cultivate practices of diversity and inclusion on campus. Since then, the Council has received more than 20 applications from faculty, staff and students, suggesting strong demand for such opportunities on campus, say organizers of the program.
The mini-grant program is one of several examples of programs launched by the Office of IDEI in its inaugural year. The office was established in 2020 as part of Bryant’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion to create a community in which all individuals, regardless of race, gender, class, sexual orientation or different viewpoints feel valued, supported and included on campus and throughout the Bryant network.
Visibility and belonging
The Diversity Mini-Grants program is designed to make an impact by increasing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programming and enhance one's sense of community, says Kevin Martins, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, head of the Office of IDEI and Chair of the Council of Inclusive Excellence.
“We have an amazing team. We're from all over the University. When we make decisions, staff, faculty and students are all integral to that process.”
Everyone has a role to play in supporting DEI, says Sam Simas, Chair of the Council’s Programming Committee, a group of 12 Bryant community members who run the mini-grant program. “We have an amazing team. We're from all over the University. When we make decisions, staff, faculty and students are all integral to that process.”
Any Bryant faculty, staff or student can apply for a grant. The Programming Committee also offers assistance to prospective applicants, says Simas.
Here's a roundup of some programs recently funded through the DEI Mini-Grant Program:
- Pronouns and Gender in Spanish: Close to 35 community members attended a presentation organized by Constanza Bartholomae, Academic Support Specialist in the Center for Teaching Excellence. The session featured a discussion about how to best use gender in Spanish and how different languages and cultures may respond to current discussions of inclusivity. Elizabeth Osborne, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Spanish at Worcester State University, was guest speaker. (Watch the full session recording.)
- Art as Activism artist talk: Professor of English and Cultural Studies Martha Kuhlman, Ph.D., organized a guest speaker and artist presentation highlighting diversity topics of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The presentation, attended by 60 people, was part of Kuhlman's first-year writing course for which diversity is a learning outcome. Printmaker Lois Harada discussed her process, the development of her art practice in Providence, and her recent project, Rename Victory Day, a Rhode Island holiday. The Krupp Library also arranged a display of Harada’s work. (Watch the full session recording.)
- Design Thinking DEI Workshop: Arranged by Skye Hazel '21, this peer-to-peer workshop for students will discuss questions about DEI and include games and incentives for students to engage one another on DEI issues.
- Krupp Library Resources on Race: With a mini-grant, the library purchased additional materials, including digital copies of books focusing on race, racism and anti-racism as well as materials specifically on the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Equitable Assessments Scholar Event: Professor of English and Cultural Studies Terri Hassler, Ph.D., and Lecturer of English and Cultural Studies Ryan Marnane, Ph.D., have organized a faculty and staff development opportunity featuring a workshop and talk with Asao B. Inoue, Ph.D., a well-known equitable assessments expert. Inoue is Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Equity, and Inclusion for the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University. His May 20 keynote will discuss antiracist assessment and evaluation practices, as well as the historical practices of grading in higher education. Inoue will facilitate a writing assessment workshop on May 21, during which faculty will be encouraged to investigate their own classroom and assessment practices.