Major university doles out thousands for ‘anti-racism’ research grant

By Around the Web

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Jennifer Nuelle
Daily Caller News Foundation

The University of Connecticut’s (UConn) School of Fine Arts sanctioned students to complete grant-funded research projects to “combat racism in all its forms.”

The research grant, funded by the university’s Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), involves students completing projects that further research on racism, including exhibitions, performances, publications, symposia and video games. The purpose is “to raise awareness and foster understanding of systemic racism, and to support efforts to create a just, diverse, and fully inclusive society at all levels, from the local to the global,” according to the grant’s website.

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“UConn and higher education institutions nationwide play a valuable role in helping to illuminate and challenge systemic racism in society. The arts represent a natural entrée into those discussions, especially given ways in which the influence of historically marginalized groups has enriched all art forms over many centuries,” university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The School of Fine Arts introduced the grant as a new initiative to contribute to the debate and efforts of combating “systematic racism.” Students submitted their proposals in March and are required to complete their projects by June 30, 2025.

“Anti-Racism is the practice of actively identifying and opposing racism. The goal of anti-racism is to actively change policies, behaviors, and beliefs that perpetuate racist ideas and actions,” according to the Boston University Community Service Center.

“UConn is proud to present unique and impactful ways to broaden public discussions on racism, including through the projects funded by this grant, and will continue to explore ways to examine these important social and educational topics,” Reitz told the DCNF.

The university offers students several diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs, with different areas of study and classes. “Confronting Anti-Asian Racism,” “Why the Jews? Confronting Anti-Semitism,” “US Anti-Black Racism Course” and “Transform Now: Gender, Equity, Inclusion,” are just four out of the several DEI-related classes students can take.

UConn is not the only university offering DEI-related courses for credit. The University of North Carolina (UNC) spent around $70 million paying employees working on DEI programs, and even smaller community colleges have shifted their funding toward DEI.

In September, the University of Minnesota paid over $200,000 to develop a DEI program aimed at teaching medical professionals that healthcare is fundamentally racist.

States like Florida, Texas and Wisconsin have pushed back against DEI. The state of Florida banned the use of taxpayer funding for DEI programs at public colleges, and Texas passed a bill banning DEI offices and initiatives at higher education institutions. Republicans in Wisconsin passed a bill banning race-based criteria for some college grants.

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