New funding opportunity aids research to combat racism

July 29, 2020

ANN ARBOR – Poverty Solutions and the Center for Social Solutions have announced an inaugural faculty grants competition to pursue action-based research aimed at ending systemic and institutional racism.

The awards, which range from $10,000 to $50,000, are open to faculty at the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses.

Successful action-based research projects will cut across disciplines and address challenges such as systemic oppression, organizational exclusion, institutional discrimination, neglectful policy, and violence against the minds, bodies and cultures of people of color.

The grant program is part of a university-wide commitment to fund scholarship, teaching, and services initiatives related to racial equity. The deadline to apply is Aug. 21.

“Systemic and institutional racism have pernicious effects throughout our society in areas from employment to health care to the arts. As a public university, we have a responsibility to help identify and address these important concerns,” said Provost Susan Collins.

“Since its creation two years ago, the Center for Social Solutions has worked with a range of researchers to examine how diversity, democracy and slavery, and its aftermath define and shape the promise of American democracy,” said CSS Director Earl Lewis, Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor of History, Afroamerican and African Studies and Public Policy.

“This initiative invites colleagues from across U-M’s three campuses to join the effort of identifying and crafting tangible solutions to the lingering effects of systemic racism. We welcome the anticipated contributions to addressing this urgent need.”

The center promotes academic research and social policy that serves the common good in four areas: the interplay between diversity and democracy, the connection of the history of slavery to our present, fair access to water, and the future of work.

“A goal for the Poverty Solutions team going forward is to more deeply connect the work of addressing poverty with the work of addressing racism in society,” said H. Luke Shaefer, Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy and associate dean for research and policy engagement at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, professor of social work, and faculty associate at the Populations Studies Center and Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research.

Through Poverty Solutions, Shaefer leads efforts to support action-based poverty prevention and alleviation research across campus, and partners with communities and policymakers — such as the state of Michigan and city of Detroit — to provide real-time policy analysis that benefits families experiencing poverty.

“Poverty Solutions and the Center for Social Solutions continue to serve as leaders in advancing the critical work in developing a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community by combating systemic oppression, institutional discrimination, and the many other challenges we face as a society,” said Robert Sellers, vice provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. “It is part of a larger university effort to engage in true, systematic change.”

In addition to Poverty Solutions and the Center for Social Solutions, this request for proposals is also supported by the Provost’s Office, Ford School, College of Engineering, National Center for Institutional Diversity, School of Social Work, LSA and Law School.

Request for Proposals
Center for Social Solutions
Poverty Solutions

Kristen Kerecman, [email protected]