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Bard College Receives Grant From Lumina Foundation Fund For Racial Justice and Equity

Bard College Selected From More Than 300 Grant Proposals

Mark Primoff
Bard College received a $50,000 grant from Lumina Foundation’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, to fund a project, Building an Ethical Imaginary: Illuminating the Invisible and Reviewing the Visible Through Inclusive Community Histories, that engages faculty, students, artists, and local community members in the creation of public art, signage, monuments, built environments, devised performances, and interactive pedagogical theater in order to increase underrepresented student retention through authentic collaboration with the local community and recognizing uncounted histories.

Drawing upon Bard faculty research and the skills of community artists, students will collaborate in a shared ethics of inclusion and social justice by creating new visible (and audible) public histories. Using historical, ethnographic, sociological, political, economic, biological, religious studies, public health, film, photographic, painting, curatorial, art historical, digital, dance, music, and theater knowledge bases and methodologies, faculty, students and the community will work together on activities such as new signage, place names, memorials, community gardens, murals, exhibits, plays, dance performances, and websites. This project furthers the College’s commitment to the conviction that higher education must play a role in cultivating an ethic that places equal value on all human lives and that emphasizes human interdependence in order for racial justice and equity to be attained in the United States.

“Bard is grateful to Lumina Foundation for supporting this important and timely new program,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein. “In a political climate where cultural divisions are widening, it is essential that colleges and universities take the lead in engaging diverse communities, particularly through education and the arts.”

From a pool of 312 nationwide applicants, Bard College was one of 19 colleges and universities selected to receive funding from Lumina’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity. The fund was created last year in response to racially motivated violence in Charlottesville on the campus of the University of Virginia. The grants announced today were in response to what the foundation saw as an urgent need to improve the atmosphere around race on campuses across the country.

“As a philanthropic leader, Lumina shares a deep passion and concern about the nation’s racial climate, especially on college campuses,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “These campuses have shown a willingness to address racial disparities at a systemic level: They recognize that achieving equitable results is about more than promoting diversity—it’s about whether the institution fosters a climate in which every student feels welcome and has the same opportunity to earn a degree or certificate of value, regardless of race or ethnicity.”

In partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Lumina evaluated grant applications submitted in response to a request for proposals. The number of responses indicates a strong desire throughout higher education to improve campus culture through community dialogues, faculty and staff development, and other creative approaches. Lumina received proposals from a wide breadth of institutions, including 2- and 4-year, public and private, large and small, and minority-serving.

About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Lumina envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. The Foundation’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.

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This event was last updated on 06-12-2018