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First round awardees for the Seed Fund for Racial Justice announced

Ten team projects were awarded funding this week for the first round of Ohio State’s Seed Fund for Racial Justice. This 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 community, and across the nation.

Each project was required to have multi-disciplinary investigators and a community partner to ensure solutions have real-world applicability.

Fund for Racial Justice Grant Recipients

Modeling an OSU-HBCU Campus Federation

Lead PI: Joy McCorriston, Department of Anthropology
Community Partners: Mac Stewart, Academic Search; Said Sewell, Atlanta University Center Consortium
Co-Investigators: Lisa Barclay, College of Engineering; Nena Couch, Ohio State Libraries; Melinda McClimans, Office of International Affairs

This project will support an interdisciplinary team drawn from Ohio State, Atlanta University Center Consortium (which includes four 4 Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and Academic Search to develop an ethical, logistical, and fiscally-sound model for a partnered campus.


Hidden Figures Revealed: Dynamic History and Narratives of Black Mathematicians at The Ohio State University

Lead PI: Ranthony Edmonds, Department of Mathematics
Community Partners: Jerolyn Barbee, National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center of the Ohio History Connection; David Goldberg, The National Math Alliance.
Co-Investigators: Cathy Ryan, Department of English; Jasmine Roberts , School of Communication; Elizabeth Newton, Battelle Center/Integrated Systems Engineering, Public Policy; Joshua Edmonds, Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Nearly 200 mathematicians have earned degrees in Mathematics at Ohio State who identify as Black, and many have become prolific researchers, authors, high school teachers, economists, department chairs, lawyers, and university presidents yet remain “hidden.” The case study will be the first comprehensive historical study of Black mathematicians at a single U.S. institution.


Stepping Out & Stepping Up: Toward Truth & Reconciliation with Dispossessed Native American Tribes 

PI: Stephen M. Gavazzi, College of Education and Human Ecology
Community Partner: Michael Roberts, First Nations Development Institute
Co-Investigator: Marti Chaatsmith, Ohio State’s Newark Earthworks Center; Casey Hoy, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; John Low, Department of Comparative Studies/Newark Earthworks Center; Brian Snyder, Office of Academic Affairs

In partnership with First Nations Development Institute, this team seeks to address the forced exile of Native Americans during the establishment of the State of Ohio and the dispossession of tribal lands by the U.S. government to fund the establishment of Ohio State.


Arts-Based Anti-Racist Initiatives in High Schools

PI: Johanna Burton, Wexner Center for the Arts
Community Partner: Big Walnut High School
Co-investigator: Joni Acuff, Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy

The team plans to build upon pilot efforts in anti-racism and DEAI (diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion), using the Wexner Center for the Arts’ international, contemporary programming—films, art, performances, readings—to spark important conversations and integrate anti-racist efforts into curricula.


Operating Under Resilience (OUR) Project: Stress and emotion Management for Black/African American Women with Hypertension in COVID-19 Social Distancing Society 

PI:  Kathy D. Wright, College of Nursing
Community Partners: Kimberly Lawson-Wilson, The African American Alzheimer’s and Wellness Association; Bishop James N. DeLaney, St. James Christian Center; Pamela D. Shields, Community Organizer for Urban Aging Residents; Diana Briggs, Community Health for the American Heart Association, Central Ohio; and Kevin Dixon, Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board (ADAMH) of Franklin  County
Co-Investigators: Ingrid R. Adams, College of Medicine; Wanda J. Dillard, OSU Wexner Medical Center Community Development; Maryanna D. Klatt, College of Medicine; Christopher M. Nguyen, OSU Wexner Medical Center; Douglas W. Scharre, College of Medicine; Kathy Tutt, OSU  Extension,  Clark  County; Chyongchiou  J. Lin, College of Nursing; Karen M. Rose, College of Nursing; Alai Tan, College of Nursing

In collaboration with a group of Black/African American women and our community partners, this team is co-creating a virtually-delivered self-care program, to improve stress and emotion management, in Black/African American middle-aged women with high blood pressure, in a COVID-19 pandemic.

Marion Dreamkeepers: Investigating Systemic Racism with YPAR

PI: Whitney Gherman, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State Extension; Michelle Kaiser, College of Social Work
Community Partner: Johnnie Jackson, Marion City Schools
Co-Investigators: Lindsey Lunsford, Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension; Jennifer L. Doyle, University of South Carolina, College of Education; Francisco “Paco” Ollervides, Green Leadership Trust; Jess Lamar Reece Holler, Marion Voices Folklife + Oral History Project

Marion Dreamkeepers will elevate Black, Indigenous, Youth of Color (BIYOC) as experts in community-based racial justice work and build capacity through Ohio State Extension and Marion City Schools toward a regenerative future.


Building Equitable and Inclusive Civic Engagement Environments in Columbus and Beyond 

PI: Jill Clark, Associate Professor, John Glenn College of Public Affairs
Community Partner: Carla Williams-Scott, Department of Neighborhoods, City of Columbus
Co-Investigators: Jason Reece, Knowlton School of Architecture; Kip Holley, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity; Glennon Sweeney, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity; Todd Dieffenderfer, Department of Neighborhoods, City of Columbus; David Hooie, Department of Neighborhoods, City of Columbus

This project focuses on structural and institutional barriers to participation and features a transdisciplinary team of researchers from Ohio State and leaders from the City of Columbus’ Department of Neighborhoods, seeking to address the qualities of inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist local public participation environments.

Bridging the Digital Divide: A Collaborative Exploration of the Bhutanese Community Response to COVID-19

PI: Jeffrey H. Cohen, Department of Anthropology
Community Partners: Sudarshan Pyarkurel, Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio
Co-Investigators: Arati Maleku, College of Social Work; Taku Suzuki, Denison; Francisco A. Montiel Ishino, National Institutes of Health

This project, conducted in collaboration with the Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio explores the mechanisms of structural vulnerability caused by the digital divide and detail community efforts to address the physical and social challenges created by COVID-19.


Managing Anti-Bias/Anti-Racism Change: Multi-tiered Professional Development for Educational Leader

PI: Noelle Arnold, College of Education and Human Ecology
Community Partners: Superintendents in Residence (SIR): Talisa Dixon: Columbus City Schools, John Marschhausen, Hilliard City Schools, Marie Ward, Fairfield County ESC
Co-Investigators: Dionne Blue, Columbus City Schools; Benjamin Campbell, Fisher College of Business; Samantha Chatman, Hilliard City Schools; Nicole Luthy, College of Education and Human Ecology; Carlotta Penn, College of Education and Human Ecology; John Rensink, Fisher College of Business

The overarching goal of this project is to support partner school districts in building their organizational capacity to address institutional racism.


‘We are Enough’: Black Perinatal Doula Support for Black Families

PI: Kara Malone, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Community Partner: Jessica Roach and Dorian Wingard, Restoring Our Own Through Transformation (ROOTT)
Co-Investigator: Jason Reece, Knowlton School of Architecture

Black infant and maternal mortality disparities are rooted in racist history and policy and only by acknowledging that history can we find solutions. ​To improve healthcare disparities, this team will work to understand how structural bias, social inequities, and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity, especially for Black women, infants, and families in Franklin County.