Barnard DEI Grants
2022-2023 Grant Cycle is now closed. Check back for the next cycle in Spring 2024.
This grant fund is dispersed to qualified proposals for initiatives that will help foster inclusion, belonging, and equity in the Barnard community. The Council would be especially interested in proposals that show collaboration among faculty, students, and staff in planning as well as programming that includes alums, parents and neighbors. Ideas may include speakers and performances; seminars and workshops; gatherings that bring together distinct constituencies for discussion and relationship building; as well as other programming and initiatives.
These grants will carry a maximum award of $4000. We anticipate awarding 3-4 grants in 2023-24. Grantees will form a cohort who together will receive guidance and support from the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion as they pursue their projects.
For questions and if you need support with your application, please email email@example.com.
- Deconstructing the Fitness Industrial Complex
This book launch event is titled after the book edited by Justice Roe Williams, Roc Rochon and Lawrence Koval (2023). Through the lenses of QTBIPOC activism, fat liberation and disability movements, the event aims to create a critical and enriching space of conversation on what it means to be fit in the United States, and on how to more meaningfully engage with the wide variety of fitness and joyful movement. The panel will be followed by a 45-minute, moderated Q&A, and an hour-long Rooted Resistance movement session led by Roc Rochon. Rooted Resistance is a grassroots practice that aims to reimagine and create wellness spaces for trans, non-binary and queer people who often feel repressed, invisible, or overly visible. This will be a free event for Barnard and Columbia communities, and will also be open to the public.
- Black at Barnard oral history and documentary project
In 2025, Barnard College will celebrate the admittance of Zora Neale Hurston ‘28, Barnard’s first step towards racial integration, and a 100-year tradition of Black scholarship. Barnard’s reputation for nurturing intelligent and ambitious graduates extended to its Black alums; many prominent and accomplished Black women call Barnard their alma mater. Yet, this legacy is not without its complications. Barnard was the second to last of the Seven Sisters to integrate. Hurston was already a Howard University graduate and in her thirties when she was admitted, with a level of accomplishment not necessary for her white peers. Decades later, while other schools steadily increased their Black populations, there was a rumored quota on Black students at Barnard. As the years continued, and Barnard’s policies evolved, the changing social, economic, and political landscape meant that Black students were never without their struggles to integrate, revolutionize, and overcome the challenges of white supremacy, misogyny, and other intersectional oppressions on and off campus. A century later Black Barnard students continue to face the isolation of minority status and the pressure of excellence that comes with it. This grant supports interviews with Black alums directed by writer, producer, and media artist Nia Ashley (Barnard '16). Black at Barnard seeks to collect the stories of as many Black students who attended Barnard in the last 100 years (1925-2025) as possible. The Barnard College Archive will acquire full unedited interviews for their Oral History collection. For a related documentary project, Ashley's interviews with Black alums interviews, expert commentary, and historical research will illustrate the complicated history of Black students at Barnard over the last 100 years.
- The Life and Legacy of Grace Lee Boggs
This interactive exhibition project focuses on the activist legacy of Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese American Barnard alumna (BC ‘35). The project is inspired by the following questions: how might the Barnard community engage with and learn from Boggs’s community activism, efforts in building inter- and intra-community dialogue, and commitment to multiple underrepresented communities? How might a closer understanding of her life and work help expand our current community’s ideas and efforts related to leadership in an unjust world? The exhibition will feature digital research projects created by students in the Spring 2023 Grace Lee Boggs Learning Lab, which is taught by Dr. Akhtar and Dr. Kitzmiller.
- Millie’s Thanksgiving Homestay Program
Sponsored by Access Barnard and the Office of Development and Alumnae Relations, this collaborative project aims to provide sustained support for international students who spend their Thanksgiving breaks in New York. Through the annual Millie’s Thanksgiving Homestay Program, local alumnae will be invited to participate in the project as volunteer hosts, and will have the chance to connect with and spend the holiday with international students. The primary goals of the program are assisting international students with expanding their support network; keeping alumnae engaged in the campus community; and supporting the building of meaningful connections and experiences across the Barnard community. Students and hosts will be matched based on the information provided in their applications. The grant funding will be used to cover the transportation costs of students. The project acknowledges the fact that the traditional American Thanksgiving, which is broadly about being thankful, is historically rooted in the glorification of colonialism and genocide in North America. The project leader(s) is/are keen on informing students about the histories of the American Indigenous peoples, and the genocides, displacements, and forms of oppression to which they have been subjected by the colonizers and settlers.
- T 4 Tea
A staff-led project, T 4 Tea is a recurring tea party event for trans students to meet, hang out and relax. The initiative centers rest, play and growth. T 4 Tea events aim to improve the well-being of the trans community at Barnard. The activities of each event are shaped in line with the interests of the participants. Examples of activities include sharing trans history through various media, learning and improving camera skills, karaoke, drawing, creating playlists and listening to music, clothing swaps and fashion shows, and intergenerational conversations between trans students and trans staff.
Members of the Shange Magic Project for their idea The Love Space Demands: Sharing the Words of Ntozake Shange in the Barnard Library, which will support the installation of excerpts from the work of Ntozake Shange ’70 on walls around the Milstein Center.
Xiang Ji ‘22 launched Barnard Signs the Way, conceived and led by Columbia/Barnard’s Sign Language Club [CU Sign]–for a weekend of hybrid workshops, panels, and art excursions in Fall 2022, with and for Deaf advocates and artists. With this intensified program, the project aims to expose the entire Columbia University community to Deaf-Studies-oriented events, and artworks of Deaf artists, and to connect different departments and programs such as Teachers College’s Deaf Education program and Columbia Medical Center’s Department of Otolaryngology. Since 2008, CU Sign is the only student club and extracurricular resource for Columbia undergraduates to learn American Sign Language (ASL). Their programming attracts a very high number of Barnard students as the proportion of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) students at Barnard College is double of the CDC national average of 0.1%.
Professor Gabri Christa received a grant in support of The Moving Body-Moving Image Festival which has been organized since 2018 as a biennial social justice film festival at Barnard College. It was conceived and started by Gabri Christa, Director of the Movement Lab, and organized every two years with a different theme. It is the only social justice-oriented festival that is part of Screendance. The 2022 iteration of the festival was on the “Moving Body with Disabilities,” and took place between March 28-April 3, 2022. The festival program consisted of live screening events, a live installation, and a week-long online screening access to all Festival films. The Grant supported part of the costs of speaker fees, workshop fees, the screening rights of the films, and the creation of audio descriptions for all of the films screened at the festival.
This grant is open to all Banard students, faculty, and staff applying individually or in groups.
- Groups may include alums, parents, neighbors, and community members, but must include at least one Barnard student, faculty, or staff member.
- Proposed initiatives must take place-- or begin if long-term-- between July 01, 2023 - June 20, 2024.
How to Apply
Proposals will be submitted through link below by 11:59, March 1, 2023.
- a statement of purpose/description of the project (250 to 500 words)
- a narrative explaining how the project will further the goals of enhancing inclusion across and / or within the Barnard community, and whether the effort is envisioned as a one-time event or a recurring one into the future (250 to 500 words)
- an estimate of the number of people the project expects to serve
- a proposed budget
- a sense of how project leaders will reflect on, evaluate, or assess the impact or success of the project
- any additional information not included in the above
Timeline for 2022-2023 Cycle
Application Due: 11:59 pm, March 1, 2023
Review of applications: March - early April 2023
Decision April 28th, 2023
Funds Dispersed July - September 2023
Sharing End of the year reflection; Project Showcase TBD Spring 2024
- Bodies in the Borderlands
A student-led project, Bodies in the Borderlands aims to initiate a community space for trans and genderqueer students at Barnard College. The planned outcomes are a zine series, and a mixed media installation based on interviews conducted with trans and genderqueer students. The project aspires to contribute to the level of awareness on campus about the trans and genderqueer experiences, and about forms of communication, which would not only enhance inclusivity and equity in learning, but also support the well-being of gender-noncomforming students. The project will continue in Fall 2022.
1st zine: Arisaema
- Barnard Signs the Way
The Grant supports Barnard Signs the Way–conceived and led by Columbia/Barnard’s Sign Language Club [CU Sign]–for a weekend of hybrid workshops, panels, and art excursions in Fall 2022, with and for Deaf advocates and artists. With this intensified program, the project aims to expose the entire Columbia University community to Deaf-Studies-oriented events, and artworks of Deaf artists, and to connect different departments and programs such as Teacher’s College’s Deaf Education program and Columbia Medical Center’s Department of Otolaryngology. Since 2008, CU Sign is the only student club and extracurricular resource for Columbia undergraduates to learn American Sign Language (ASL). Their programming attracts a very high number of Barnard students as the proportion of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) students at Barnard College is double of the CDC national average of 0.1%.
Akaraka is a student-led community programming project that aims to connect Africans on campus with African immigrants in the New York area, and in the diaspora. The project is named after an Igbo word of the Igbo tribe in Nigeria, and it connotes having control over one’s destiny. Emphasizing the interconnectivity of individual and collective destinies, several events and community gatherings were organized in Spring 2022 in order to foster intra-communal exchange of knowledge and experiences, exposure to the artworks of African communities, and community enjoyment. The Grant supported community gatherings at African restaurants in Harlem, a film screening collaboration [Farewell Amor, Ekwa Msangi, 2020] between Barnard College and African Film Festival at Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem, and the 2022 Afropolitan event in the Event Oval.
- The Moving Body-Moving Image Festival
The Moving Body-Moving Image Festival has been organized since 2018 as a biennial social justice film festival at Barnard College. It was conceived and started by Gabri Christa, Associate Professor of Professional Practice and the Director of the Movement Lab, organized every two years with a different theme. It is the only social justice-oriented festival that is part of Screendance. The 2022 iteration of the festival was on the “Moving Body with Disabilities,” and took place between March 28-April 3, 2022. The festival program consisted of live screening events, a live installation, and a week-long online screening access to all Festival films. The Grant supported part of the costs of speaker fees, workshop fees, the screening rights of the films, and the creation of audio descriptions for all of the films screened at the festival.
- Language and the Classroom: Reflecting on the Evaluation of Student Rhetorical Expression in Community (Support Initiative)
A project co-sponsored by the Writing and Speaking Fellows Program and the Center for Engaged Pedagogy (CEP), Language and the Classroom aims to engage the Barnard community in a conversation about language, and racially-biased, gendered, or otherwise structurally-informed perceptions of rhetorics in the classroom. The project leaders aim to initiate a conversation about how the Barnard community can think about the complications and possibilities of linguistic justice every time faculty members ask students to write, discuss, or present, and every time they grade, assess, and comment on a students’ rhetorical expression. Assist. Prof. Dr. Laura Gonzales will give a workshop, and facilitate a conversation on linguistic justice in Spring 2023. As a one-time support initiative, the Grant funds part of the speaker's fee.
- A Suitable Suits Makeover (Support Initiative)
Suitable Suits is a Beyond Barnard initiative for students to borrow professional attire when they have in-person or virtual job interviews, and when they want to attend networking events. As a one-time support initiative, the Grant funds part of Suitable Suits’s plans (1) to expand their clothing options to include pieces that will allow trans and genderqueer students to authentically self-present in professional settings, and (2) to eliminate the dry cleaning fees that currently render students responsible for returning the attire in clean condition–in order to provide a more equitable support for First-Generation and Low-Income (FLI) students.
DEI FIT Grant
The DEI Fund for Innovation in Teaching (DEI FIT) grant is a supplementary fund available to faculty members to enable the design of courses and projects that address antiracism and structures of power, with an expectation of interdisciplinarity. For more information, please visit https://barnard.edu/fund-innovation-teaching.
Reproductive Health Grant
The Reproductive Health Grant, awarded by the Office of DEI, Health & Wellness, and the Provost, supports projects that meaningfully contribute to and help shape the dialogue around reproductive justice, the human rights of women, and the rights of trans and non-binary people who have the capacity to experience a pregnancy (planned or unplanned), and anyone who may face economic, social, cultural, or political consequences stemming from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In 2023, five projects were awarded. For more information, please visit: https://barnard.edu/reproductive-health-grant