OVPR anti-racism grants awarded to eight research teams

The Office of the Vice President for Research has awarded $450,000 in grants across eight research teams to explore persistent racial disparities embedded in systems ranging from health, education and wealth to criminal justice and infrastructure.

These grants are jointly administered and advanced in partnership with the National Center for Institutional Diversity’s Anti-Racism Collaborative.

“If we truly want to achieve equity and justice for all, it is absolutely essential that we gain a deeper understanding of the complex racial inequalities that are embedded in nearly every facet of our society,” said Trachette Jackson, assistant vice president for research – diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor.

“As a public research university, we have a unique opportunity to generate new knowledge around these complex racial inequalities so that, together, we can identify and implement solutions that spur positive change within our communities.”

This is the second cycle of antiracism grants awarded to U-M researchers since OVPR launched its Research Catalyst and Innovation Program last year.

“We are extremely excited for the trajectories of the research emerging from this program, and we are energized by the scale of response, extent of unit participation and diversity of interdisciplinary teams who responded to this call and are engaging in this work,” said Geoffrey Thün, associate vice president for research – social sciences, humanities and the arts, who oversees the RCI Program.

“The Anti-Racism Grants program is helping to catalyze expertise and intellectual leadership in this space at U-M.”

The grants will support a wide range of research projects, ranging from the examination of political representation among Puerto Ricans, Indigenous people’s experiences of climate injustice, and the link between discrimination and mental health in Asian youth.

“The grantees represent the broad and deep expertise on racial inequality and injustice that we have at U-M,” said Elizabeth R. Cole, NCID director, and professor of psychology, women’s and gender studies, and Afroamerican and African studies in LSA.

“NCID is excited to continue our work with OVPR to amplify and support interdisciplinary collaborations — across our schools and colleges, and with community partners — to address racial inequities and advance racial justice in systems, policies and practices.”

Below is a summary of the eight selected OVPR Anti-Racism research projects:

Does Critical Reflection about Institutionalized Racism and Climate Change Promote Critical Action among Indigenous Peoples in the U.S.?

Team leads: Stephanie Fryberg (Department of Psychology, LSA; Research for Indigenous Social Action and Equity Center; Tulalip Tribes), Laura Brady (Department of Psychology, LSA; Research for Indigenous Social Action and Equity Center), Adam Farero (Department of Psychology, LSA; Research for Indigenous Social Action and Equity Center; Bay Mills Indian Community) and Kyle Whyte (School for Environment and Sustainability; Citizen Potawatomi Nation)

Goal: The team will explore Indigenous people’s experiences of and responses to climate injustice. Extending past literature on critical race consciousness, they will examine Indigenous people’s engagement in critical climate action, as well as the psychological and cultural factors that motivate this action.

Read more about the other seven research grants and teams here.