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February 14, 2024: Applications Open for DEIA Cultivation Grants and ERGs

By Dr. John Johnson, Vice President for Inclusive Excellence

A previous DEIA Cultivation Grant helped to fund bringing cultural anthropologist Anthony Kwame Harrison to campus for a talk titled “Musical Inclusion and the Unheard Terms of DEI Work.”
A previous DEIA Cultivation Grant helped to fund bringing cultural anthropologist Anthony Kwame Harrison to campus for a talk titled “Musical Inclusion and the Unheard Terms of DEI Work.”

The Inclusive Excellence Council is accepting applications for DEIA Cultivation Grants. DEIA Cultivation Grants are designed to support projects, programs, or events that advance diversity, equity, inclusion or antiracism (DEIA) at the college. Any member of the Whitman community can apply for a DEIA Cultivation Grant. Preference is given to projects that are innovative and enhance rather than duplicate existing college practices, we also prioritize proposals for projects that center the needs of historically marginalized communities, improve the campus racial climate, and encourage collaborative applications involving co-leads from different constituency groups (e.g. staff and faculty). Awards are capped at $3,000 and the grant application is open through Friday, March 8.

The Division of Inclusive Excellence, in collaboration with Human Resources, is prepared to formally sponsor a number of Employee Resource Groups (ERG). ERGs are voluntary organizations in the tradition of student affinity groups that emerge on campus and engage in activities intended to contribute to the well-being, success and retention of their peers. ERGs are common among Fortune 500 companies and have a presence at other NW5C institutions. We believe ERGs can make a meaningful contribution to the Whitman community and employee experience. A pilot ERG operated in spring of 2023 with funding provided through a DEIA Cultivation Grant. The success and impact of that program prompted the development of an expanded structure to support ERGs on the campus.

Approved ERGs will be formally recognized entities and receive institutional sponsorship to support their activities (up to $2,500/year). Both exempt and nonexempt employees can participate in ERG activities during the work day (with supervisor approval) for an hour each week without penalty or loss of compensation. Any approved ERG must be open to all employees of Whitman College, but an ERG can be focused on the needs, concerns, interests of a particular cultural community (e.g. disabled, LGBTQIA2S+, Latine, Muslim, veterans, etc.) or themed around a shared interest (knitting, gaming, outdoor adventure, etc.). A minimum of five members are needed to establish an ERG at Whitman and ERGs are expected to support groups of employees across, rather than within, specific campus roles or functional areas (e.g. Disabled Staff and Faculty).

To learn more about ERGs or to submit an application to establish an ERG at Whitman, visit the Employee Resource Group page on the website.

Published on Feb 14, 2024
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