North Carolina’s Davidson College will spend $1.2 million dollars to grow campus and community awareness about race and slavery, according to a Wednesday statement.
After being awarded a $1.2 million grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the liberal arts college of roughly 1,800 students said it would use this money to encourage dialogue on issues of justice, equality and community.
“The recent events in Charlottesville bore witness to hate that is propagated by those who threaten our collective public life and is antithetical to Davidson’s values and our nation’s promise,” the college’s statement reads. “Davidson’s mission includes cultivating humane instincts, recognizing the dignity and value of each person. That mission is informed by a quest for truth about our own past.”
Commission initiatives will include teaching, research, scholarship, educational exhibitions, public events, and other forms of community engagement.
“To seek a full understanding of the college’s history with respect to slavery and race is to honor our commitment to the quest for truth as we strive to prepare students for thoughtful, creative lives of leadership in service to humanity,” the statement concludes.
The college may be following in the footsteps of other institutions that have also introduced campaigns for awareness of race, diversity and gender inclusion. Harvard held a major conference on its ties to slavery, and is paying students $11 dollars per hour to educate their peers about diversity this fall.
The University of Tennessee also recently increased spending on diversity education, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) spent more than $3 million in July to stop microaggressions, implicit bias, and lack of diversity.
Davidson said it will make commission appointments within the month, and the commission’s work will continue until summer 2018.
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