Colleges invest big bucks in anti-racism projects

Schools across the nation have allocated massive funding toward anti-racism initiatives. The costly projects, courses, and training come amid the nation’s current political climate following the death of George Floyd. 

Campus Reform has rounded up some examples of this popular arena of spending at colleges.

The University of South Florida announced it will devote $500,000 from the Office of the Provost toward more than 20 research projects dedicated to reducing racism. The university told Campus Reform the initiative funding did not come from the more than $34 million in aid received through the CARES Act.

Some of the research projects include investigating how physical features, like skin color and facial structure, play a role in police violence, as well as the tie between Black children’s school discipline and the criminal justice system.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, all of these projects will be completed within the next year.

“Advancing innovative, interdisciplinary research is a key element of our active commitment to addressing racism in society,” said USF President Steve Currall.

[RELATED: Princeton student gov spends $10k for ‘Anti-Racism Reading Project’]

Drexel University also announced winners of a fund designated for “urgent action, short-term projects for research projects focused on racial equity.” The office of Research and Innovation awarded $100,066 to faculty and staff from nine colleges, schools, and one institute to fund racial research.

“It is our intention that this competition will bolster our researchers’ efforts to use their scholarship to fight inequity, eradicate racism, and address systemic inequities,” said the Drexel University Executive Vice Provost for Research & Innovation Aleister Saunders in the university’s press release.

[RELATED: Emory student gov pledges to match $10,000 in donations for progressive causes]

One university even established a whole new institute dedicated to anti-racism called “The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity.” 

The institute received a founding investment of more than $1.7 million by Saint Louis University. It will research “existing healing strategies” and promote policy change regarding inequities.

Meanwhile, Marist College is funding the Marist College Diversity Leadership Institute, which will institute “mandatory training on diversity and inclusion, as well as implicit bias” for faculty and staff. 

Campus Reform reached out to Marist College to confirm the amount of funding allocated, as well as Drexel University and Saint Louis University for a statement, but did not hear back in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JezzamineWolk