Ripon receives grant to support diversity, equity and inclusion efforts on campus

Ripon College has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Council of Independent Colleges, funded by the Mellon Foundation, to support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts on campus in 2023.

The award includes funds for curriculum development, student research opportunities, and a speaker’s series to enhance the College’s commitment to DEI as part of its liberal arts mission.

The principal investigator for the grant is Mary I. Unger, associate professor of English and chair of the department, and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program coordinator. “The grant will primarily fund the creation of new courses that center diversity, equity and inclusion,” she says. “The funds also will support the curricular and pedagogical enhancement of current courses.”

In addition, the grant will fund student research and a speaker series for the Women’s and Gender Studies program.

“The goal is to create meaningful opportunities for sustained examination of difference, inequality and power throughout the College’s curriculum,” Unger says. She says these issues have been addressed through Catalyst courses and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and have fostered dialogue about power, inequity and oppression.

She says interest in courses related to DEI issues has risen significantly over the past five years. Declared minors in Women’s and Gender Studies have doubled during the past year and now represent the fifth largest minor on campus.

“The initiative and proposed work coincide with a campus climate of interest in change: the hiring of the first female president in 171 years of College history, the significant increase in registration for courses centering DEI, and the continuing enrollment of students without meaningful DEI experiences prior to arriving on campus,” Unger says.

Addressing these topics through Catalyst courses “represents the faculty’s commitment to create conditions for meaningful dialogue about diversity,” she says. “The success of this seminar has helped the College envision ways to expand these topics and conversations beyond the core curriculum into other academic programs. Our proposed work is an important next step in weaving such issues of power, inequity and justice throughout liberal arts learning at Ripon College.”

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