DEJI mini-grants available for students and employees

Libby Bullinger, Copy editor

Given the current political and cultural climate in the United States and worldwide, many organizations, businesses and groups are attempting to turn more attention toward the area of diversity.

Advocating for diverse workplaces and learning environments is an essential part of most college mission statements, and Mercyhurst is no different. Although these initiatives did exist on campus in previous years, the past several semesters have brought an increased awareness toward diversity and similar topics at Mercyhurst.

One way that this is reflected in through the current DEJI min grant applications.

DEJI is an acronym standing for “diversity, equity, justice and inclusion,” a mission that has been brought forth by Mercyhurst’s newest president, Dr. Kathleen Getz.

Prior to her arrival at Mercyhurst, Getz was known at previous institutions for bringing together diverse populations and advocating for increased diversity in academia. This new leadership combined with the importance of diversity advocacy nationwide sparked a new initiative on campus.

Last spring, students and staff formed a new group called the “Anti-Racism Reflection and Action” cohort. This group was a combination of students and staff alike with a mission to spread their passionate message of antiracism.

The group involved students and staff from all areas of campus and was open to anyone interested in learning more about diversity and helping to incorporate this essential theme in our Mercyhurst culture.

As part of this diversity, equity, justice and inclusion effort, Mercyhurst’s Office of Mission set out to establish grants for projects specifically connected to anti-racism efforts.

This year the Office of Mission is again setting out to fund projects on campus but has expanded the criteria to include any aspect of the DEJI initiative.

The Office of Mission will be awarding at least three mini-grants of up to 500 dollars to groups that apply.

There are several aspects groups applying must possess in order to be considered. First, the project must clearly revolve around a topic of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice that reach either Mercyhurst or the local Erie community. Next, applicants must be in groups of at least three members, which can include a mix of students, employees or both.

In order to qualify for consideration, the projects must also be scheduled to occur in the 2022 calendar year, either in the current spring semester or next semester in the fall.

Those interested in an application can apply on the Mercyhurst HUB. The application is simple to complete and asks questions such as who is involved in the project, how it will assist the university’s goal of diversity, equity, justice and inclusion, how much money is being requested and what the money will be used for.

The application is due on Monday Feb. 21, so be sure to submit your application soon if you are interested in applying.

The goal of these grants is to encourage an increase in projects revolving around diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, and to provide recognition and support for projects on campus already fulfilling these requirements