Forty campus proposals have been selected to receive the Actions that promote Community Transformation (ACT) grants. Initiated in fall of 2020, ACT recipients are awarded seed grants — ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 — to support and enable diversity, equity and inclusion projects within their local communities at UT Austin.
“We have an enormous campus that has many different micro environments. This program was created around the idea that change requires creative thinking and that campus members understand the unique needs of their local campus environments more than anyone,” said managing director of diversity, Lydia Contreras. “We received a wide range of inspiring proposals and are excited to see these projects come to life with this new round of ACT grant recipients. It gives me a lot of energy to see the large number of staff, faculty and students who are interested in working together to continue to strengthen our campus community.”
Areas of interest for the projects include:
- Graduate education
- Undergraduate education
- Departmental climate
- Faculty hiring practices
- Staff and faculty promotion and retention practices
- Faculty development
- Mentoring practices
- Student recruitment practices
The 2021 grants represent more than $180,000 to fund projects supported by units across campus, including: the Graduate School, College of Natural Sciences, Cockrell School of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, Dell Medical School, Division for Diversity and Community Engagement, College of Education, IC2 Institute, Moody College of Communication, School of Architecture, School of Law, School of Nursing, School of Undergraduate Studies, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, University of Texas Libraries, and Vice President for Student Affairs. ACT work is supported widely across campus, with funding contributed by many of the deans from the colleges and schools in which project applicants are housed as well as by the Provost’s Office.
This group of awardees will hold joint meetings to mutually support the development of these projects throughout the year and is already working together to exchange ideas to maximize their impact. Representatives from both cohorts of ACT projects will also participate in the upcoming DEI Community Fair, scheduled from 3:30 – 5 pm on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, in the Calhoun and Parlin outdoor courtyards. In celebration of DEI work across campus, the fair will be an opportunity to continue to strengthen our connection as a larger university community and posters showcasing ACT projects will be on display. (RSVP here)