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Kalamazoo College
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Diversity and Inclusion Mini Grant Program

Objective

The Diversity and Inclusion Mini Grant Program supports Kalamazoo College faculty and staff development by providing funding for faculty and staff initiatives to make the College more diverse and inclusive.

Initiatives Funded by the Diversity and Inclusion Mini Grant Program

  • Visions + Voices (3 workshops)
    • Microaggressions, April 8, 2015
    • Monoculture, Pluralism, and Multiculturalism, May 7, 2015
    • Marginalization on Campus, June 19, 2015
  • “Imagining the Life and the Mind of Another: Communicating Compassionately and Listening Deeply,” Insight Dialogue Eight-Week Workshop, Winter 2015 term
  • ERAC/CE Training, 2.5 day Understanding and Analyzing Systemic Racism Workshop, January 16-18, 2015
  • Faculty/Staff Intercultural Competence Workshop, October 24, 2014

Impact of Diversity and Inclusion

By funding faculty and staff initiatives on diversity and inclusion, the Diversity and Inclusion Mini Grant Program supports the mission of Kalamazoo College “to prepare its graduates to better understand, live successfully within, and provide enlightened leadership to a richly diverse and increasingly complex world.”  All faculty and staff at the College are educators and have the opportunity to impact the lives of students.

Diversity and inclusion work does not have to be large-scale and daunting. While this learning and growth may sometimes be uncomfortable, the goal is to for us to learn together in a no blame/shame environment that is accessible to everyone. Faculty and staff are encouraged to consider ideas to provide the College community with opportunities to grow and learn together.

History

Since 2009, Kalamazoo College has offered VISIONS Multicultural Training for faculty and staff. The mission of VISIONS is “to equip individuals, organizations, and communities with the tools needed to thrive in a diverse world; to remove structural and cultural barriers that prevent full and equitable participation; and to help create environments where differences are recognized, understood, appreciated, and utilized for the benefit of all.”

The Diversity and Inclusion Mini Grant Program uses the concepts from VISIONS as the foundation for the proposal requirements. The mini grant program began in the spring of 2014.

Target Population

Mini grants will be awarded to initiatives that are directed toward advancing diversity and inclusion work for Kalamazoo College faculty and staff. Mini grants will not be awarded to wider initiatives that are intended to impact the local, regional, national, or international communities. While those initiatives are extremely important, the spirit of this particular program is to impact our campus community.

Outcomes

Each Diversity and Inclusion Mini Grant proposal must be based on one or more of the four levels of oppression and change strategies: personal, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural. Proposers are required to articulate which level(s) their proposal encompasses.

Four Levels of Oppression

Concepts and descriptions from VISIONS

  • Personal (values, beliefs, feelings, attitudes, opinions)
    • Our attitudes, beliefs, values and feelings, regarding the inferiority of certain groups and the superiority of others
    • Involves both cognitive misinformation and emotional misunderstanding
    • Have been learned either directly (taught) or indirectly (caught)
    • Can be conscious or unconscious
    • “What do I think and feel about others who are different?”
  • Interpersonal (treatment, relationships, behaviors, communications)
    • How we behave in light of the assumptions we hold about people with different cultural identities
    • Deals with our acts or behaviors, that are based on our attitudes, beliefs, values and feelings
    • Can have impact whether intentional or unintentional
    • “How do I act/behave toward others who are different?”
  • Institutional (policies, practices, rules, procedures, systems)
    • Established laws, customs, traditions and practices which systematically result in inequalities in a society or organization
    • Institutional “isms” are occurring to the extent that its laws and practices support the power of non-target groups
    • “How does my institution favor members of the historically included groups?”
    • “What are examples of policies, procedures or customs that result in disparities in inclusion or the likelihood of success?”
  • Cultural (worldview, stories, climate, shared values, unwritten rules, media, public opinion, symbolic/ritual, group dynamics, norms)
    • Both the individual and the institutional expression of the superiority of one group’s culture, heritage and values over that of other groups
    • It exists if people outside of the dominant norms experience invisibility, lack of belonging, lower chances for success.
    • “How do I, or how does our organization, practice exclusion or enforce ‘unwritten rules’ for success?”

Focus of Change Strategies

Concepts and descriptions from VISIONS

  • Personal - Aim is to change thoughts and feelings; increase awareness and openness to learning.
  • Interpersonal - Aim is to enhance skills, communication patterns; impact behavior and relationships.
  • Institutional - Aim is to identify structural barriers and create policies, practices, programs and processes that support equitable outcomes.
  • Cultural - Aim is to create environments representative of and welcoming to the organization’s diversity; celebrate and utilize differences.

Examples of Possible Diversity and Inclusion Mini Grant Initiatives

  • Lunch and Learns to bring in people to talk about disabilities
  • Art
  • Historical milestones
  • Student/faculty/staff panel discussions to understand experiences of various constituencies on campus
  • Films with discussions
  • Workshops on how to be an ally to international students, first-generation students, or other groups
  • Examination of College policies/practices
  • Facilitated discussions about hot topics at the local, national or international level
  • Initiatives based on outcomes of institutional surveys or research
  • Cultural potluck
  • Symbolic gatherings or celebrations
  • Wheelchair basketball game or other immersion experiences

Outside the Scope of the Diversity and Inclusion Mini Grant Program

  • Any activity that marginalizes or shames/blames any one group or person
  • Funding for scholarship, research, or surveys unless there is a specific campus impact
  • Conference attendance/expenses, travel or employment expenses
  • Projects that do not impact the Kalamazoo College community
  • Projects that do not involve Kalamazoo College faculty and staff in a meaningful way

Diversity and Inclusion Mini Grant Committee

  • Dana Jansma, Chair. Associate Dean of Students.
  • Kathryn Lightcap. Graphic and Multimedia Designer.
  • NaShera Sutton. Resource Room Receptionist/Coordinator, Center for International Programs.
  • Miasha Wilson. Human Resources Coordinator/HRIS Specialist and Assistant to the V.P.B.F.
  • Ken Wood. Wellness and Fitness Advisor.