Bringing It

Bringing It #55: Announcing “The Way Forward” Grant Recipients

January 28, 2021

Dear friends,

As you know, BT2P launched The Way Forward initiative in fall 2020 as a response to the current intersecting crises facing American society and higher education – systemic racism, the pandemic, and economic inequality. Our initiative fosters creative educational responses to the crises through two linked projects: Multi-Institutional Innovation Grants (MIGs) that bring the core values and best practices of undergraduate education to bear on the need for change; and a podcast series exploring the best paths forward with educational thought-leaders and innovators. (Stay tuned for the launch of our podcast in the coming weeks.)

We were heartened by the passionate response to our Request for Proposals for the grant initiative. With generous support from the Endeavor Foundation and the Luce Foundation, we are thrilled to be able to fund 15 proposals, comprising partnerships among more than fifty higher ed institutions, consortia, and community organizations. Here is an overview of the awardees’ projects:

The Way Forward Banner

The Way Forward Grantees:

From Pandemic to Protest, We Remember 

  • Students at Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY) and Rutgers University, New Brunswick will use augmented reality technology to support the creation and curation of virtual monuments and memorials in an online exhibit commemorating the height of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter Movement in 2020.

Participatory Democracy in a Time of Disruption: Creating an Integrative, Holistic, and Intersegmental Framework for Citizen Building Among a New Generation of College Students

  • Six California institutions – College of the Canyons, Cerritos College, Los Angeles City College, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Los Angeles, and Cal State Northridge – supported by California Community Colleges’ Success Networking Team, will collaborate on developing a statewide undergrad civic engagement curriculum, faculty development training modules and online training sessions, a virtual civic dialogue series, and a civic engagement convening.

Crediting Community: Pathways for Re-Imaging Partnership Reciprocity

  • College Unbound, Providence College, and Brown University will provide college credit for students to work as partners on community-based courses and university projects addressing local priorities, as well as pilot a summer course on Re-Imagining Community for students and community partners and host workshops and professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on community-based learning.

Refugee Voice Project: Understanding College Access and Inclusion

  • On behalf of Community Campus Collaborative, Russel Sage College and Siena College will partner with University at Albany, Hudson Valley Community College, Refugee Welcome Center, Albany High School International Center, Sponsor-A-Scholar, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants – Albany, and Youth FX to design participatory action research in the New York Capital Region with the goals of improving access to college for refugees, immigrants, and other students of color in low-income communities and enhancing the ability of higher ed institutions to include and support them as students.

Theatre and Community

  • Courses on theatre and community at Drew University and University of San Diego will partner with local communities and with each other to build relationships and collectively write virtual plays for each institution to perform focused on overcoming inequality and injustice.

Evaluating the CNNC Community Centers: A Guilford College and UNC Greensboro CNNC Collaboration

  • The Community and Justice Studies program at Guilford College will partner with the Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC) at University of North Carolina, Greensboro to evaluate CNNC’s work supporting the well-being of immigrants and refugees at three large housing communities in the Greater Greensboro area, focusing on education, health, employment, social service access, housing stability, and advocacy.

The CUNY Curricular Excavation Project

  • Guttman Community College (CUNY), Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY), and School of Labor and Urban Studies CUNY will employ Culturally Responsive Pedagogy as a tool to improve the success of community college students as they move through transfer toward a baccalaureate degree, including faculty professional development and curriculum implementation support.

The Maryland Cultural Proficiency Collaborative

  • HBCU Morgan State University’s School of Education and Urban Studies, along with Baltimore City Public Schools, will formalize a network of institutional partners focused on cultural proficiency, convene a statewide conference, develop degree-granting cultural proficiency certificate programs for undergrads, grad students, and practitioners, and develop a digital resource hub with best practices for educators, social workers, and public health practitioners who engage with youth.

Uncommon Conversations: Learning and Growing Through Educational Exchange

  • HBCU North Carolina A&T State University and Mars Hill University will create a faculty institute with monthly meetings focused on developing and implementing strategies that contribute to culturally responsive and relevant pedagogy and faculty professional development that examines implicit and explicit bias, the power of language in the promotion of diversity and inclusion, and strategies that facilitate the engagement of faculty, staff, students, and administrators beyond the classroom/campus on racial equity.

Teaching with a Trauma-informed Lens

  • The Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development, a consortium of over 25 institutions in greater Philadelphia area, is developing a workshop series for faculty on trauma-informed teaching practices in online environments, which will include how the faculty participants can bring learnings back to their campus or institution to inform their peers.

Psychology Professionals of Tomorrow

  • The Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology will connect graduate students of color with undergraduates from Rutgers University, Newark to encourage interest in and preparation for graduate-level studies in clinical psychology and mental health counseling for students of color.

Climate Justice in Environmental Education

  • Simmons University, the Center for Sustainability and the Environment at Colleges of the Fenway, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Mass Audubon will partner on a two-course sequence on climate justice, racial justice, and environmental education addressing inequities in access to green space in the city of Boston.

Fusing Indigenous and Western Knowledge Systems in the Tide of Global Change

  • The University of Maine at Fort Kent (including UMFK’s Student Life & Engagement, Sustainability Club, and Rural U Early College & Concurrent Enrollment Program), will partner with the Wabanaki Center/Wabanaki Youth in Science (WaYS), Maine Youth for Climate Justice, and the Maine Environmental Education Association to develop a series of interactive online conversations for high school and undergraduate students exploring the intersections of Indigenous and Western knowledge systems in the context of global change.

Deepening Transfer Partnerships: Summer Collaboration in Public History

  • Based on a similar partnership in STEM, Howard Community College and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County will pilot an immersive summer educational experience with faculty for community college students interested in transferring to complete a bachelor’s degree in Public History.

Equity in the Wisconsin Classroom: Educating Ourselves as Educators

  • The University of Wisconsin System, Tribal Colleges of Wisconsin, College of Menominee Nation, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College, Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges & Universities, and Wisconsin Technical College System will collaborate on professional development opportunities for faculty in their state through an online conference and webinar series focused on recruiting, retaining, and graduating students of color – Native, Black, Latinx, Hmong – and first-generation students.

The range and significance of these projects make one thing clear: there is no shortage of creativity and commitment in higher ed’s response to the crises we face as an academy and as a society. We will be sharing more about these projects—and the community of practice we are building with them—in the months ahead.

With thanks,
David, Kate, & Todd