Special Call - Addressing Systemic Racism Fund: Advancing Knowledge through Research and Programming

Following up on the June 15, 2020, email sent by President Christina Paxson, Provost Richard Locke and Executive Vice President Barbara Chernow, a special Addressing Systemic Racism Fund has been established. With resources provided by the Office of the President, this fund will be used to support research and programming aimed at addressing anti-Black racism* on and beyond the Brown campus. Faculty and staff (individuals or groups) are eligible to apply for grants to support research, scholarship and programming (e.g. workshops, symposia, etc.) to advance awareness, deepen understanding and effect policy changes related to anti-Black racism specifically, and structural racism more generally.


Any Brown faculty member employed by Brown and whose research is administered through Brown is eligible to apply for research funds of up to $5,000 for those involving a single PI, and up to $20,000 for interdisciplinary proposals involving multiple faculty. The overall merit of the research project proposals will be considered and evaluated by a committee of faculty reviewers who will make their award recommendations to Provost Locke and Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity Shontay Delalue.

The final selection will be made based on the standard review criteria in conjunction with the following:

1. Does the research proposed specifically focus on improving understanding and yielding meaningful and sustained solutions to systemic social, environmental, and economic issues affecting Black communities, such as discrimination, poverty, health disparities, violence, justice, policing, and racial politics?

2. Will the research have an impact on the Black community at Brown, locally in Providence and Rhode Island, the nation and/or the world?


Any full time Brown employee is eligible to apply for programming funds of up to $5,000.  Proposals to support programming will be reviewed by Provost Locke and Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity Shontay Delalue. Awards will be made based on:

1. Advancing knowledge among members of the Brown University and broader communities regarding the origins and implications of ant-Black Racism.

2. Promoting discussion and dialogue around issues related to anti-Black racism.


To apply for research or programming awards, please submit to [email protected] using subject line “Addressing Racism Fund” a single pdf (maximum two-page not including bio-sketch) with the following specifications:

1.         Applicant Information. Identify the Lead faculty and/or staff member(s). Include contact information for Lead (including email and phone number for follow-up communications), along with titles and departments or units represented for all team members.

2.         Project Title and Abstract. Include two to three sentences that describe the impact in lay terms. Please note that this abstract should not contain confidential information, as abstracts of funded proposals will be posted on the Office of the Provost website.

3.          Proposal. The applicant should describe the goals of the research or the program, the activities to be carried out to achieve those goals, and a timetable for completing these activities.

4.         Budget. This should include itemization of general categories of expenses for which award funds will be used and a brief justification for these expenses, including the role of all personnel. Note that, as these are internal funds, overhead costs are not allowed.

5.         Biosketch(es). For research proposals, include a brief biosketch (preferably limited to two pages) for Lead faculty and each collaborator. A hyperlink to a biosketch or CV is acceptable.  For programming proposals, please include the bios or resumes (preferably limited to two pages) of the employee(s) submitting the proposal.


Applications will be reviewed starting on Tuesday, September 8, and will be on a continual basis until funds are expended. Award notification will occur as soon as possible following application receipt. Decisions will be made within three weeks of receipt. 

*Anti-Black Racism Defined
Anti-Black racism is a specific form racism based on anti-black ideas, actions and systems; it is a discrete form of racism tied to blackness and the severe dehumanization attached to the institution of slavery and its legacies. The demarcation of anti-black in front of the more general term racism comes from an effort to be specific about the way racism (which is any form of discrimination or hate based on race) takes place for black people in particular and to define it in a more systemic way--as a phenomena not as an individual act.