CLA will deepen a culture of engagement for our alumni, community and state.
We know that academic and administrative units have the imagination and drive to produce exciting innovations. We are excited to announce the Joan Aldous Diversity and Engagement Grants that will provide seed grants for faculty and staff to test new projects or initiatives.
An alumna and pioneering scholar, Joan Aldous (PhD, sociology, ‘63) was the first female faculty member in our Department of Sociology and later the first woman to hold an endowed professorship at Notre Dame. A generous estate gift from Professor Aldous ensures that her legacy of discovery and service continues in the work of today’s scholars.
Diversity grants are available to test new projects that promote equity, inclusion, and diversity throughout CLA. These grants are designed to further the strategies and objectives outlined in the CLA Roadmap and by the University’s Campus Climate Workgroup. For CLA, these include advancing and sustaining diversity as a collegiate priority; identifying, recruiting, and retaining underrepresented faculty, staff, and students to CLA; establishing shared practices that support the continuous pursuit of diversity; and cultivating a welcoming and respectful climate that supports a diverse community of faculty, staff, and students who foster a lively intellectual environment of diverse ideas, research, and creative approaches.
Engagement grants are available to test new projects that connect CLA research, creative work, instruction, and outreach with communities beyond the boundaries of the campus. Our engagement goals seek to increase opportunities for connection between CLA and the public; strengthen existing and forge new partnerships between CLA and the broader external community; increase the level of and opportunities for engagement with CLA undergraduate and graduate alumni; and ensure that CLA’s research and creative excellence are shared and visible beyond campus.
Imagine if the histories you learned in high school didn’t include your history. Would you stay in school? Would you even think about college?
A partnership between the Department of African American & African Studies and three area high schools seeks to remedy a gap in ethnic studies education, all too typical in school curricula, while helping students from underrepresented populations see themselves on a college campus. Introduction to African American Studies, created by Professor Rose Brewer and taught through College in the Schools by teachers at Richfield and DeLaSalle (Minneapolis) high schools and Washington Technical Magnet (St. Paul), is the first ethnic studies course offered and is being piloted this year. Through a humanities lens, students are introduced to the African diaspora and issues of educational inequities, land rights, and cultural and religious expression. The coursework is challenging and personal narratives are used to help the students comprehend their own histories, which is a tactic not commonly used in high school history courses.
The students in the course also visit campus, where they meet with Professor Brewer and have an opportunity to picture themselves on the University campus and see what we have to offer. This is also one example of how we are leveraging faculty expertise within the College to address the achievement gap; other initiatives include ethnic studies curriculum development for younger students in the Minneapolis Public Schools.
CLA held its first annual Day of Service this fall. Alumni and other CLA community members in the Twin Cities, San Francisco, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and New York volunteered on various projects as part of the U of M Alumni Association's U-wide Day of Service. Among several local service sites, alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends pitched in on a landscaping project at Windom School in south Minneapolis. The crew cut down brush near the front of the building and added mulch. Thank you to everyone in the Twin Cities and across the country who participated! See more photos
Through projects like this, the college is working to create a friendly front door for ongoing conversation with alumni and the community.