Established in a joint endeavor of the Executive Vice President of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate Equity Initiative is a five-year program designed to encourage innovative and practicable thinking among faculty about ways to increase the number of students from underrepresented minority groups in graduate school, as well as to improve the climate of the institution and foster their successful progress through degree programs and into their subsequent careers.
There are many areas in the academy that are explicitly and impressively oriented toward the amelioration of racism in society. But universities can also reflect and reproduce societal inequities (not only with regard to race but in multiple other ways as well). Within the academy, graduate education can play a crucial role in mitigating institutional complicity in societal inequities, because graduate school is where we foster the capacity to ensure the future life of the university as a changed extension of what has come before. The Graduate Equity Initiative Grant Program provides seed funding for programs designed by Arts & Sciences faculty to address systemic racism and underrepresentation in the academy in the long term.
Ultimately, we hope these programs will contribute to a larger institutional effort to reconstitute our intellectual life around principles of racial equity and justice, as we aim to foster long-term change at Columbia and to help make a difference in the academic and professional spheres more broadly.
Learn more about the Graduate Equity Initiative here.