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Presidential Racial Justice and Equity Fund

Established by Augustana College President Steve Bahls and Jane Bahls, this fund encourages students to initiate projects on campus or within the Quad Cities community that support equity and justice. 

Projects should meet any of the following criteria:

• Raise awareness of racial justice issues
• Promote dialogue between differing constituencies concerning racial justice issues
• Propose solutions to racial justice issues
• Encourage activism and social change to address racial justice issues
• Help the community explore underlying equity issues that impact racial justice
Racial justice is the systematic fair treatment of people from all racial/ethnic backgrounds that results in equitable outcomes for all.

This requires creating policies, and proactive reinforcement of those policies, and practices that produce equitable access to opportunities, power, social goods and services that eliminate disparities among and between groups of people.

Here racial justice includes criminal justice, economic justice, environmental justice, health care justice and other issues of justice impacted by race.

Projects may involve research, events, artistic materials or performance, pilot projects or educational materials. Projects should require a one-time investment rather than a need for sustained investment.

Funding uses and availability

Proposals must contain budgets, deliverable goals and timelines for completion. Grants will range from $100-$2,000 and will be paid up-front with the understanding that failure to account for all expenditures will require the recipient to repay the grant in full.

Students are encouraged to use these dollars to supplement support from other funds. Funds are not available for stipends in excess of $500 per project or for travel to conferences.

How to apply

Applications can be submitted to the vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion and will be reviewed by a selection committee appointed by the vice president, which will include students and may include persons who are not part of the campus community.

Those seeking grants are encouraged to consult with the vice president before the submission of the grant. Each project should have the endorsement of a faculty member, though in some cases a staff member or local community member with direct ties to or experience with a proposed project may also be required.

Criteria for judging the proposals include:

• Impact on awareness at Augustana or the broader community and world
• Likelihood that increased awareness will result in social change
• Degree of student leadership and involvement
• Education, outreach and behavior change — how many members of the Augustana community or local community are impacted
• Feasibility and accountability

The initial funding level for the Presidential Racial Justice and Equity Fund is $10,000. The college will add this fund to its fundraising priorities for future funding.