Six Faculty Receive Seed Funding for Projects That Address Structural Racism

October 29, 2020 @ 7:49 pm
By Communications Office

The projects will contribute to Columbia University’s collaborative efforts to eradicate the racial inequities that impact our communities and our nation.

Six School of Social Work faculty have successfully competed for educational seed grants from the Office of the Provost for projects that aim to foster dialogue, action, and insight for systemic change to achieve racial equity. CSSW faculty are leaders in five of the 57 projects that received funding.

The funding is part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement’s Addressing Racism: A Call to Action for Higher Education initiative, which was started in June in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other African Americans at the hands of police. The request for seed proposals, which went out on June 30, encouraged projects that “engage with issues of structural racism” and “are complex, such as interdisciplinary collaborations.”

“The remarkably high representation of CSSW faculty in this prestigious University grants program demonstrates the significance of social work in anti-racist policy and practice,” said Dean Melissa Begg. “Working on topics ranging from justice in times of pandemics to racism in the mental health system, and in formats ranging from a preparedness academy to a podcast, our faculty are forging novel, interdisciplinary collaborations across the University. I congratulate all the awardees, and I’m excited to see the outcome of each project.”

Projects involving CSSW faculty are listed below; details of all projects are available here.


Racial Justice Podcast
Desmond Patton, Ovita Williams, Susan Witte, Social Work; Jennifer Manly, Neurology

Justice and Pandemics Preparedness Academy
Lisa Rosen-Metsch, Dean, General Studies and Sociomedical Sciences; James Colgrove, Samuel Roberts, Sociomedical Sciences; Marlyn Delva, Epidemiology & Sociomedical Sciences; Dana March-Palmer, Epidemiology; Julien Teitler, Social Work

Awareness and Community Activism to Confront Racism in the Mental Health System
M. Katherine Shear, Social Work; Sidney Hankerson, Psychiatry

Sleep Center of Excellence Seminar Special Series on Discrimination, Social Injustice, and Sleep
Marie Pierre St-Onge, Medicine; Carmela Alcántara, Social Work


Evaluation and Training to Expand the Space for Uprooting Whiteness (sfUW)
Susan Witte, Social Work

Related links:

Provost Office Awards to Advance School’s Anti-Racist Curriculum

Professors Davis and Patton Receive Provost’s Diversity Grants

Desmond Patton Named a Provost Leadership Fellow