Equity & Inclusion Incentive Grants

2019 Request for Proposals

The University of Cincinnati is on a journey toward Inclusive Excellence - embracing the spectrum of diversity and infusing inclusion into every aspect of campus life.

The Equity & Inclusion Incentive Grant program seeks to support collaborative efforts between colleges and units that align with the Inclusive Excellence pathway in our University’s Strategic Direction. To advance those ideals, we seek to enhance belonging, agency, cultural competence, and accountability within and across the campus community. We define those constructs in the following ways:

Belonging: The degree to which one feels supported, connected, valued and respected.

Agency: The ability to use one’s personal power to impact positive change.

Cultural Competence: The awareness, knowledge and skills to interact comfortably across difference.

Accountability: The obligation of individuals to acknowledge their behaviors and decisions, accept responsibility for them and correct them, if necessary. The expectation for managers and leaders to ensure those in their charge comport themselves accordingly.

2020 Grant Recipients

The Past, Present, and Future of Black Generosity

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Mercedes Jones

Headshot of Justin Gibson

Justin Gibson

Presented by Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman, associate professor in the IUPUI Lilly School of Philanthropy, this project is the beginning step of a strategy to engage African American alumni to bring them back to their alma mater through philanthropy. The event enhanced belonging (assisted Black alumni in understanding why they are an important community within the University of Cincinnati ecosystem), agency (how they are able to leverage their gifts and talents to increase opportunities for students), and cultural competence (learned strategies for working with the UC Foundation, an organization that Black alumni have not traditionally been connected to).

The University of Cincinnati Annual Asian Student Leadership Conference

Headshot of Fabrice Juin

Fabrice Juin

Headshot of Kathy Nguyen

Kathy Nguyen

Group picture of United Asian Advocates group

United Asian Advocates

The purpose of this conference is to highlight and empower UC's Asian student community in an intentional and impactful way. Asian identity is one that is extremely diverse, containing numerous subgroups (i.e. East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, just to name a few). For that reason, events like the Asian Student Conference and the Lunar New Year Celebration may miss the mark on impact. Additionally, because Asian Pacific American Heritage Month occurs in May when the school year has ended, it is difficult to highlight our Asian students. This conference would add another element to the things we do for our Asian student population and would enhance their sense of belonging and their sense of agency. It would also serve to increase cultural competence and accountability of the campus community towards the Asian identity. 

The EI3 Equity, Inclusion, Innovation and Impact Student Research Conference

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Patricia Goedl & UC Clermont

The purpose of this conference is to expose Clermont undergraduate students, the majority of whom are from a primarily white and rural community, to contemporary social issues related to equity and inclusion. Additionally, this conference serves to encourage and empower students to pursue social equality and change while promoting high impact undergraduate student research centered around a theme of positive social change. The mission is to create a high-quality student research experience that promotes research projects that have a positive and meaningful impact on students, educators, community partners and society. For the 2019 EI3 Conference, there were 73 poster presentations and 32 video presentations with nearly 200 student participants.  

Developing Cultural Intelligence: A Program for Lawyer Leaders

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Staci Rucker & UC College of Law

The University of Cincinnati College of Law strives to impart on its students the knowledge, values and competencies needed to excel in a changing world.  One of these competencies is cultural intelligence. This project will increase law students’ awareness, knowledge and skills to interact comfortably across difference and use one’s personal power to impact positive change within the College of Law, across campus, in the city and the world. The program will be open to second and third-year law students as this is a critical time to develop students’ cultural intelligence as many of them will begin working with clients through clinical experiences, externships and other legal employment opportunities. 

Staff Professional Development Day

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Janet Staderman

Headshot of Shelly Sherman

Shelly Sherman

This event aligns with the strategic direction of Next Lives Here as an example of the University of Cincinnati’s commitment to enhancing professional development for staff enrichment. This is a day of learning, collaboration and networking, and will feature the talent of our own staff community. The event is planned and supported by the efforts of staff volunteers and will serve as a premier learning event for UC staff while highlighting the unique expertise of UC employees. The Staff Professional Development Day will present programs designed to motivate, challenge, strengthen and enlighten staff and to align professional skills with organizational needs. The day will also include a community service project. This event will foster a sense of belonging among staff while enhancing a sense of agency and accountability. 

Advancing Excellence for Cincinnati’s African American/Black Interpreters In Cincinnati

Headshot of Elizabeth Jean-Baptiste

Elizabeth Jean-Baptiste

Headshot of Amber Burley

Amber Burley

Headshot of Josie Evans Phillips

Josie Evans Phillips

The purpose of this project is to advance excellence for Cincinnati’s African American/Black Interpreters workforce. The African American/Black Interpreter Collaborative is a Community of Practice that aims to co-create a critical mass of qualified African American /Black interpreters through activities that allow them to share social/cultural/professional capital, build cultural competence within the profession. The Collaborative aims to: Provide a training and mentoring program that prepares more African American/Black interpreters to take and pass the RID National Interpreter Certification tests; create a community of practitioners where members feel a sense of belonging; support each other in individual goals; educate their colleagues – the racial majority of practitioners – to become more culturally competent; create systems for resource sharing and networking and; promote and support the next generation of African American/Black Interpreters. 

DAAPcamp Equity and Inclusion Scholarship Fund 2020

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Laurie Wilson & DAAP

Through scholarships based upon merit and financial need, we will introduce the DAAPcamp opportunity to a more diverse population and then give those students the financial assistance to enable them to attend DAAPcamp. This DAAPcamp opportunity is crucial because it opens wide students’ eyes to the path to become a designer as well as the types of design disciplines and careers that are available. The camp takes crucial steps toward closing the diversity gap in the design industry. This opportunity also aligns with the Strategic Sizing Charter for our college and President Pinto’s Strategic Plan for the university.  Within our charter it is stated that DAAP will “Increase racial and gender diversity of our undergraduate student body through expanded outreach to CPS and other schools with more racially diverse populations …through DAAPcamp opportunities…to develop the pipeline of prospective students.” 

Accessible Wayfinding: See My Ability, Encourage My Participation, Count Me In!

Headshot of Josette Riep

Josette Riep

Headshot of Heidi Pettyjohn

Heidi Pettyjohn

Navigating a large university campus presents challenges for everyone. Those challenges are compounded when there are visual, hearing or other impairments that impede an individual’s ability to navigate the campus environment. As the university continues to address these challenges and lead higher education in its commitment to an inclusive environment, we have an opportunity to leverage technology to improve campus accessibility. The UC Inclusion App was developed to provide an interactive environment that fosters targeted and immediate communication pathways. The app offers a robust wayfinding engine that currently supports campus navigation. The current project builds on those features by adding indoor wayfinding resources for in-building navigation; installation of Beacons at identified locations to mark accessible entrances and pathways; ability to manage a personal profile to set your accessibility preferences; a reporting module to immediately submit accessibility challenges to the appropriate personnel and; the ability to leverage mobile devices to include location and photos.