Mellon Foundation awards $6 million to hire 30 faculty researching ‘race, racism, inequality’
The Mellon Foundation awarded $6 million to Wayne State University to hire faculty whose research interests emphasize ‘the impact of race, racism, inequality, and struggles for equality and justice.’
The grant will also ‘create the Detroit Center for Black Studies,’ 'a faculty-led multidisciplinary center at Wayne State that connects Black Studies faculty from institutions across the state of Michigan.'
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded $6 million to Wayne State University to launch a cluster hiring program for 30 faculty members and “create the Detroit Center for Black Studies."
The university recently announced the grant, which “advances Wayne State’s work to build a more inclusive and equitable university by prioritizing faculty and research centered on the Black experience.”
“The focus will be on scholars whose research interests expand knowledge about people of color and the issues that affect them, along with studies involving the impact of race, racism, inequality, and struggles for equality and justice,” the announcement continued.
A spokesperson for Wayne State told Campus Reform that “recruitment of the new faculty has not begun yet.”
The university envisions the Detroit Center for Black Studies, the announcement noted, as "a faculty-led multidisciplinary center at Wayne State that connects Black Studies faculty from institutions across the state of Michigan."
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Phillip Brian Harper, Mellon’s Program Director for Higher Learning, said in the announcement that “this grant aligns perfectly with the goals of the Mellon Foundation.”
Mellon, “the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities,” similarly awarded $1.2 million to Morehouse College to create an institute for Black masculinities studies, as Campus Reform reported.
Wayne State is also providing funding for students taking African American Studies courses. The student newspaper, The South End, clarified that Crockett-Lumumba Scholars will receive funding that is separate from the Mellon grant.
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"The program hasn’t even begun yet," Associate Professor of African American Studies David Goldberg, the program's coordinator, told Campus Reform. "It’s in it [sic] infancy."
He also said that Crockett-Lumumba Scholars is "not a scholarship, but a student success program."
Goldberg told The South End, “Students who complete the first year in good standing receive a one thousand dollar stipend for finishing the year in good standing, two thousand for the second, [and] three thousand for the third year.”
He continued to describe benefits for seniors, who “will earn a minor in [African American Studies], an all-expenses paid study abroad experience, and a four thousand dollar incentive for being on track for graduation.”
Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment, and this article will be updated accordingly.
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