The Lumina Foundation has announced grants totaling $2.5 million in support of community-building efforts designed to promote understanding, tolerance, and healing on college and university campuses.
Developed in the wake of white nationalist demonstrations and violent incidents on and around the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville this past summer, as well as on campuses across the country over the past year, the initiative is aimed at improving the racial climate on campuses and elevating efforts to teach about race and racism in American history and society.
Grants include $200,000 to the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis in support of its Faith & Action Project, which works to advance social justice and will use the funds to host events highlighting solution-driven approaches to community problems rooted in racial bias and inequity, and $100,000 each to the Council on Foundations, Grantmakers for Education, and Independent Sector to host webinars, training, and convenings designed to improve philanthropic practice in advancing racial justice.
The foundation also will partner with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to invest $1 million in a national study of the racial climate on campuses and provide leadership grants of up to $100,000 to colleges and universities that have made significant efforts to improve educational equity and advance anti-racism education on their campuses, and award smaller grants to help schools improve or expand their plans for campuswide engagements that promote racial justice.
"We want to heighten our focus on racial justice and equity — going beyond Lumina's longstanding commitment to improving educational outcomes for African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians," Lumina Foundation president Jamie Merisotis wrote in a blog post. "Foundations such as Lumina typically aren't the first responders to crises, but in this historic climate, we believe the time to act is now."