Rhodes College receives $800k for institute for 'racial equity' and 'social transformation'
The institute will ‘expand the pipeline of faculty and students trained to do racial justice research and advocacy’ and ‘elevate the success stories of incarcerated women participating in Rhodes’ Liberal Arts in Prison program.
The Mellon Foundation awarded the Memphis-based school $800,000 to found the Institute for Race and Social Transformation.
Rhodes College recently secured a three-year $800,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish the Institute of Race and Social Transformation (iRaST).
The Memphis-based school says the Institute of Race and Social Transformation will “serve as an intellectual hub for research and curricular development focusing on racial equity, discrimination, and justice in Memphis and the Mid-South region,” according to an article posted on its website.
Among the primary goals of the Institute of Race and Social Transformation will be to “expand the pipeline of faculty and students trained to do racial justice research and advocacy” and “coincide with racial justice missions of some local non-governmental organizations.”
The funding will also be used to highlight the women involved in the Rhodes’ Liberal Arts in Prison program, a for-credit academic program started in the West Tennessee Penitentiary in 2019.
The school will also use the funds to establish an annual Race and Social Transformation Symposium. It will also create a summer fellowship program for “Rhodes and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) students to work with Rhodes and HBCU humanities faculty on justice-centered research.”
The Mellon Foundation, founded in 1969, is “the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities,” according to its website. It provides grants to “build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.”
The Mellon foundation awarded $16.1 million in grants in 2022 to “support newly developed curricula that both instruct students in methods of humanities practice and clearly demonstrate those methods’ relevance to broader social justice pursuits.”
Rhodes College and the Mellon Foundation have been contacted for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.