Announcing the Racial Justice and Community Engagement Grant Recipients

April 27, 2021

Announcing the Racial Justice and Community Engagement Grant Recipients

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To further the Global Arts + Humanities commitment to anti-racist research and creative practices, we have launched a special initiative that invests in public-facing, community-partner-engaged initiatives that focus on social issues stemming from structural inequities and that foreground cultural and artistic expressions of social justice. This call seeded cross-disciplinary and collaborative responses to structures of oppression, institutional racism, implicit bias and privilege, and racial disparities. We welcomed new and ongoing projects that drew from a range of methods (design methods, discourse analysis, ethnography, historiography and intersectional approaches, among others) to enhance our understanding and ability to eliminate racism and systemic inequities.

Racial Justice and Community Engagement
Grant Recipients


Anti-Racism and Social Justice Education in the Performing Arts
Principal Investigators | Nadine George-Graves
(Dance), Nyama McCarthy-Brown (Dance), Crystal Michelle Perkins (Dance), Melinda Rhoades (Teaching and Learning, College of Education)
Project Description | The urgent need to disrupt systemic racism in the performing arts industry requires a robust network of practitioners and scholars committed to anti-racism and the necessary dismantling of White supremacy culture which shapes arts education, presenting models, resource distribution, philanthropy, casting, and hiring practices. There is also an urgent need for high-quality performing arts education in the United States. These two needs are inextricably linked. This project will support 1) The development of undergraduate and graduate stand-alone academic certificates, 2) Curricular design and implementation of three core courses for the certification, and 3) Performing arts programming for students within Columbus public and community schools. 

Being Black/Becoming Black
Principal Investigators |  Adéléke Adéeko
́ (English and AAAS) and Kwaku Korang (Comparative Studies and AAAS) 
Project Description | The project will support 1) A two-year study of Black-serving, local and regional community groups, their activities and their comprehension of being and becoming Black, and 2) Organizing inter-community programs that will invigorate these institutions that serve equity mobilization needs of Black groups — both US-born and immigrant. The study and the program of activities based on it are intended to bring together evolved strengths of African American and immigrant African groups in new ways — ways that will enhance resources available for combating race-derived inequities.

Equity Framework at the Wexner Center for the Arts
Principal Investigators | Johanna Burton
(Director, Wexner Center for the Arts) and Dionne Custer-Edwards (Learning and Public Practice, Wexner Center for the Arts) 
Project Description | With the country at a moment of racial reckoning and accountability, a growing consensus and willingness to address systemic racism with new furor promises the beginning of overdue change. The Wexner Center for the Arts, and museums as a field, are no exception to this increased level of scrutiny and expectation to meet higher standards — standards that truly allow for racial equity. With this grant, the Wex will embark on an ambitious path toward transformation and reparation. Through a pioneering Equity Framework, the Wex is poised to radically reimagine racial equity within its institution, where the evidence of systemic change will be concrete and measurable — not only in the programs it produces and the impact it makes on our community, but also in the structure of the institution and how it functions operationally, administratively, programmatically and systemically.

Fostering Racial Justice
Principal Investigators | Yana Hashamova
(SEALC) and Caroline T. Clark (Teaching and Learning, College of Education and Human Ecology) 
Project Description | To respond to this critical moment in society, educating students and teachers in critical race media literacy should be an educational priority. This project aims to address the dearth of curricular attention to critical race media literacy, as well as the consequences for racial justice of this absence, by building on ongoing relationships with the Metro School and Columbus City Schools to collaboratively develop and deliver a critical race media literacy curriculum. The project will inform teacher education and critical media literacy on ways to merge expertise across the arts and humanities and education to create high impact learning opportunities for teachers and their students.

Linden Murals of Empowerment
Principal Investigators | Guisela Latorre
(WGSS), Njeri Kagotho (College of Social Work), Karen Hutzel (AAEP) and Rebecca Persons (graduate student, College of Social Work) 
Project Description | Community-engaged public art has a long and rich history of social justice. Linden Murals of Empowerment (LME) aspires to capitalize on the power of community muralism to facilitate public dialogues and discussions about the preponderance of structural racism in the Columbus neighborhood of Linden. Inspired by this powerful history of community-engaged art, LME proposes a series of community-initiated murals in Linden to foster civic participation, community healing and youth empowerment. The project will recruit young people between the ages of 14 and 20 years old to participate in LME and to create murals with the help of trained artists. Moreover, a number of students enrolled in classes for the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies will get a chance to attend LME activities and learn about communities of color in Columbus and about the empowering potential of community muralism.