Arts and Sciences faculty leading 10 Seed Fund for Racial Justice projects

June 15, 2021

Arts and Sciences faculty leading 10 Seed Fund for Racial Justice projects

The Oval at dawn

Twelve team projects — 10 of which are led or co-led by faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences — were recently awarded funding in the second round of Ohio State’s Seed Fund for Racial Justice.

Housed in the Ohio State Office of Research, the program seeks to develop exploratory research approaches and creative ideas that will help contribute to the elimination of racism and solve its underlying causes and consequences on our campuses, in our communities and across the nation.

Of the 44 concept papers submitted in this round, 26 were invited to submit full proposals and 12 were awarded a combined $536,044. Each project was required to have multidisciplinary investigators and a community partner to ensure solutions have real-world applicability. Learn more about projects awarded funding during the first round of funding

The following projects from the College of Arts and Sciences received second-round funding:

Improving Police Interactions with Black Civilians through Racial Sensitivity Training Technology

This project seeks to wed critical race and gender studies with negotiation and mediation tools via computer software development that augments in-person law enforcement training related to diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competency.

  • Lead PI: Simone Drake, Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Departments of English and African American and African Studies
  • Co-Investigators: Katrina Lee, College of Law; Hugo Gonzalez Villasanti, College of Education and Human Ecology; Kevin Passino, College of Engineering
  • Community Partners: Commander Mark Lang, Columbus Division of Police

Addressing Structural Racism in the Academy through a Pilot Program: Building Faculty and Staff Capacity for Enacting Racial Equity at All Levels

This project aims to create transformative faculty and staff-driven racial justice initiatives that leverage and develop infrastructural support to design, enact, assess and sustain racial equity practices at every level of our institution and to support the development of an Equity and Inclusion credential already underway by community partners.

  • Lead PI: Maurice Stevens, professor, Department of Comparative Studies
  • Co-Investigators: Zoë Plakias, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Community Partners: Dick Kinsley and Stephanie Dodd, Ohio Campus Compact; Clayton Hurd, Campus Compact
  • Key Personnel: Charlene Brenner and Lisa Hall, STEAM Factory

This project has also received 1:1 matching funds from the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme.

Emerge: An Art and Technology Space for Prototyping Livable Futures with the Community of Linden and Ohio State

This initiative aims to heal racial and cultural disparities through collaborative artmaking, innovative project creation and exhibition, co-education and friendships across the university-community divide by engaging in community-driven art, technology, engineering and media production projects, surrounding the themes of racial and environmental justice, sustainability, and human health and wellness.

  • Lead PI: Amy Youngs, associate professor, Department of Art
  • Co-InvestigatorsKen Rinaldo, professor emeritus, Department of Art; Wanda Dillard, Health System Shared Services; Ayanna Howard, College of Engineering
  • Community Partners: John Lathram, North Linden Area Commission; OSU Arts + Tech Student Club; Lucas Cameron, D & M Distributers

Rise Above Anti-Asian Hate: Developing and Disseminating Evidence-Based Educational Programs

Utilizing community-engaged and interdisciplinary approaches, this project will examine the efficacy of theory-based educational programs designed to reduce anti-Asian American racism. This project is innovative as it investigates the action potential and social diffusion outcomes of anti-racism education.

  • Lead PI: Hyunyi Cho, professor, School of Communication
  • Co-Investigators: Sharvari Karandikar, College of Social Work; Andy Ni, College of Public Health; Osei Appiah, professor, School of Communication; Wenbo Li, PhD student, School of Communication
  • Community Partners: Russell Jeung, StopAAPIHate; Elyse McConnell, Asian American Community Services; Vincent Wang, Ohio Chinese American Association; Yi Chen, c35 Films

Increasing Black Women in Ohio Elected Office-Extending Democracy Through Political Education for Enriched Citizenship 

This project will build the political capacities of Black communities in Ohio by investing in Black women leaders, increase the pool of diverse candidates in Ohio who are trained and educated on best practices for potential campaigns and enable Black women across Ohio to be more prepared and better positioned to hold elected leaders accountable.

  • Lead PI: Wendy Smooth, associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion, professor, Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Co-Investigators: Tina Pierce, John Glenn College of Public Affairs
  • Community Partners: Petee Talley and Angela Shute-Woodson, Ohio Coalition on Black Civic Participation/Ohio Unity Coalition’s Black Women’s Roundtable

This project has also received 1:1 matching funds from the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme.

Linden Murals of Empowerment: Public Art for Racial Justice 

This project aspires to capitalize on the power of community muralism to facilitate public dialogues and discussions about the preponderance of structural inequality and racism in Linden, a predominantly Black neighborhood in Columbus that suffers from the negative effects of institutionalized racism.

  • Lead PI: Guisela Latorre, professor, Departments of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Spanish and Portuguese
  • Co-Investigators: Njeri Kagotho and Rebecca Persons, College of Social Work; Karen Hutzel, University of North Texas 
  • Community Partners: John Lathram III and Andrea Russell, North Linden Area Commission; All People Arts

Archiving Black Performance Summer Institute 

The focus of the Summer Institute will extend the reach of this creative activity to the future generation of potential developing young women artists of color; give access to Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (one of the internationally recognized professional dance companies rooted in the African American experience); and expose all participants to mentors who share similar cultural values.

  • Lead PI: Crystal Perkins, assistant professor, Department of Dance
  • Co-InvestigatorsValarie Williams, professor, Department of Dance; Nadine George-Graves, chair, professor, Department of Dance; Adélékè Adéèkó, professor, Department of English, interim chair, Department of African American and African Studies; Mara Frazier, University Libraries; Larry Williamson Jr. and Frank W. Hale Jr., Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Community Partner: Debbie Blunden-Diggs, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

Developing Anti-racism Praxis in the Performing Arts

This project seeks to design and implement an “Anti-Racism and Social Justice Education in the Performing Arts” Certificate Program that will “train the trainers” and build grassroots social change in the arts and culture sector.

  • Lead PI: Nadine George-Graves, chair, professor, Department of Dance
  • Co-InvestigatorsNyama McCarthy-Brown and Crystal Perkins, assistant professors, Department of Dance; Mindi Rhoades, College of Education and Human Ecology
  • Community Partners: Dancers in Ohio State’s Graduate School Student Organizations; Dale Tucker, Yolanda Briggs and Lyndsey Vader, Patriot Preparatory Academy

Using a STEAM Model to Develop Access Pipeline for Middle Grade Students in Columbus Metro Schools  

This study proposes a model for developing a local pipeline to increase access to Ohio State for Black Students through a STEAM curriculum and mentoring model that focuses on “digital agriculture/social justice” at Columbus Adventist Academy.

  • Lead PI: Melvin Pascall, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Co-InvestigatorsSimone Drake, Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Departments of English and African American and African Studies; Nick White, assistant professor, Department of English; Pamela Thomas, Chieri Kubota and Timothy McDermott, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Community Partners: Larry Brooks, Columbus Adventist Academy

This project has also received 1:1 matching funds from the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme.

Journeys to Equity: Transforming Racism to Humanism — The Next Horizon in Healthcare Contacts 

This proposal will use an arts-integrated intervention to mitigate the impact of white privilege and implicit bias and build equity in Ohio State’s health care community.

  • Lead PI: Jennifer Garvin, College of Medicine
  • Co-InvestigatorsJulia Hawkins, associate professor, Department of Classics; Jeff Barbee and Linda Stone, College of Medicine
  • Community Partner: Leslie Burrs, Opera Columbus

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