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Twelve teams chosen for funding through the second round of Ohio State’s Seed Fund for Racial Justice

Twelve team projects were awarded funding in the second 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.

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 multi-disciplinary investigators and a community partner to ensure solutions have real-world applicability. Three projects have also received 1:1 matching funds from the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme. Learn more about projects awarded funding during the first round of funding.

Seed Fund for Racial Justice Grant Recipients

Improving Police Interactions with Black Civilians through Racial Sensitivity Training Technology

Lead PI: Simone Drake, College of Arts & Sciences
Community Partners: Commander Mark Lang, Columbus Division of Police
Co-Investigators: Katrina Lee, College of Law; Hugo Gonzalez Villasanti, College of Education and Human Ecology; Kevin Passino, College of Engineering

Project description: 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 DEI and cultural competency.


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

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

Project description: 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. This project 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 The Ohio State University

Lead PI: Amy Youngs, College of Arts & Sciences
Community Partners: John Lathram, North Linden Area Commission; OSU Arts + Tech Student Club; Lucas Cameron, D & M Distributers
Co-Investigators: Ken Rinaldo (Emeritus), College of Arts & Sciences; Wanda Dillard, Health System Shared Services; Ayanna Howard, College of Engineering

Project description: This initiative aims to heal racial and cultural disparities through collaborative art-making, 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.


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

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

Project description: Utilizing community-engaged and interdisciplinary approach, 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.


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

Lead PI: Wendy Smooth, College of Arts & Sciences
Community Partners: Petee Talley and Angela Shute-Woodson, Ohio Coalition on Black Civic Participation/Ohio Unity Coalition’s Black Women’s Roundtable
Co-Investigators: Tina Pierce, John Glenn College of Public Affairs

Project description: 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.


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

Lead PI: Melvin Pascall, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Community Partners: Larry Brooks, Columbus Adventist Academy
Co-Investigators: Simone Drake and Nick White, College of Arts & Sciences; Pamela Thomas, Chieri Kubota and Timothy McDermott, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Project description: 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 (CAA).


Immigrant Women of Color Experiences with Intimate Partner Violence and Service Access: Race and Ethnicity Perspectives Held by Service Providers 

Lead PI: Cecilia Mengo, College of Social Work
Community Partners: Norah Bagirinka, Refugee Women in Action; Rachel Ramirez, The Center of Partner-Inflicted Brain Injury, Ohio Domestic Violence Network
Co-Investigators: Julianna Nemeth, College of Public Health

Project description: This project, in collaboration with key community partners, will conduct study to explore the experiences of immigrant women of color experiencing intimate partner violence and discrimination as well as structural inequality issues encountered when accessing needed services in central Ohio from the viewpoint of formal and informal service providers who work with these women.


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

PI: Jennifer Garvin, College of Medicine
Community Partner: Leslie Burrs, Opera Columbus
Co-Investigators: Julia Hawkins, College of Arts & Sciences; Jeff Barbee and Linda Stone, College of Medicine

Project description: 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 healthcare community.


Linden Murals of Empowerment: Public Art for Racial Justice 

Lead PI: Guisela Latorre, College of Arts & Sciences
Community Partners: John Lathram III and Andrea Russell, North Linden Area Commission; All People Arts
Co-Investigators: Njeri Kagotho and Rebecca Persons, College of Social Work; Karen Hutzel, University of North Texas 

Project description: 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.


Archiving Black Performance Summer Institute 

Lead PI: Crystal Perkins, College of Arts & Sciences
Community Partner: Debbie Blunden-Diggs, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
Co-Investigators: Valarie Williams, Nadine George-Graves and Adélékè Adéèkó, College of Arts & Sciences; Mara Frazier, University Libraries; Larry Williamson Jr. and Frank W. Hale Jr., Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Project description: 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.


Improving Racial Equity for Families with Substance Use Disorders Involved in Child Welfare 

Lead PI: Elinam Dellor, College of Social Work
Community Partner: Fawn Gadel, Public Children Service Association of Ohio
Co-Investigators: Mikyung Baek, Kirwan Institute; Alicia Bunger and Susan Yoon, College of Social Work

Project description: This project first aims to explain why non-white families are underserved in Ohio Sobriety Treatment and Reducing Trauma (START) program and subsequently identify and adopt actionable strategies to combat inequitable reach of the program.


Developing anti-racism praxis in the performing arts through a university certificate program that trains artists, educators, and community leaders to dismantle racial inequalities in the field

Lead PI: Nadine George-Graves, College of Arts & Sciences
Community Partners: Dancers in Ohio State’s Graduate School Student Organizations; Dale Tucker, Yolanda Briggs and Lyndsey Vader, Patriot Preparatory Academy
Co-Investigators: Nyama McCarthy-Brown and Crystal Perkins, College of Arts & Sciences; Mindi Rhoades, College of Education and Human Ecology

Project description: 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.