Thanks to a Mellon Foundation New Presidents Grant, President Murray is delighted to announce a call for applications for a Diversity Innovation Grant (DIG).   

The purpose of the Diversity Innovation Grant is to enable faculty to enhance learning experiences for students that will better equip them for life in a rapidly changing multicultural world with particular attention to issues of power, privilege, and difference. Through this initiative, we aim to help Whitman students increase their understanding of factors that have historically created social inequities and enable them to articulate ways to create more inclusive communities where resources and opportunities for success are more equitable. It is expected that some projects funded through the DIG process may serve as pilot projects leading to other long-term or larger initiatives.   

Types of Projects funded: 

DIG grants could be used for a variety of curricular experiences and can include individual faculty, a team of faculty, or a team of faculty and staff.  A few examples include:

  • A faculty member wants to take an existing course and add a new field experience that enables students to have a deepened understanding of the diverse communities studied in the course.
  • A faculty member wants to design and lead a workshop for fellow faculty and staff on best ways to teach diversity-related content.
  • A faculty member and community partner want to host a workshop for students and members of the Walla Walla community on a topic of common concern.
  • A team of faculty in a department or program wish to work together to reconceptualize the major and/or a gateway course in the major to provide an enriched understanding of how issues of power, privilege, and difference affect the areas of study in the course.
  • Interdisciplinary teams want to work together on an overarching question intersecting with issues of power, privilege, and difference to consider changes they might make to their courses or to other learning opportunities on campus.  


The maximum amount of an award is $4,000 for an individual faculty member or $8,000 for a team. Faculty are encouraged to invite staff members with relevant expertise as partners on their projects. Possible budget items include:

  • Student research (maximum of 50 hours)
  • Travel expenses to attend a workshop, conference, or other site to gather research
  • Travel expenses for a visiting educator or curriculum consultant
  • Costs associated with a field trip for students
  • Books (Please note that Penrose Library may already have relevant titles: a limited number of copies for personal use during the grant is appropriate, however)
  • Participant stipends (maximum of $1,000 per person).  Please note that stipends are intended to recognize the time involved in ongoing research and/or course redesign associated with the project rather than participation in a single workshop by attendees.
  • Food costs associated with receptions/workshop (typically no more than $15/person per event).  

Application Process:   

Faculty interested in applying for a diversity innovation grant should submit a two-page statement to Kazi Joshua.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in December. Applications can be submitted at any time subsequent to that date and may be funded if there are remaining available funds.  The statement must include:

  • A description of how the curricular innovation will enhance students' ability to engage with concepts related to social inequality and exclusion.
  • A detailed budget that justifies individual expenses. Please only budget items that are truly necessary to the project so that we can more easily award as many grants as possible.
  • A timeline for the project. Please note that projects must be completed by the end of December.
  • A brief account of the expected outcomes for students (what will this innovation enable in student learning that is not currently possible?) ·     
  • A brief account of how the faculty/staff can share what has been learned with the campus community.  This need not be a formal presentation; for example, meeting with a faculty committee, student club, or department could be valuable dissemination methods.  

Selection Process:  

Proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of faculty and staff from WIDE (Whitman Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Committee) and the Center for Teaching and Learning steering committee with at least one faculty member from each Division.  Notifications will be made beginning of December and review of applications will continue through spring depending on available funding.  Should funding for DIG grants no longer be available, applicants may submit their application to the CTL steering committee for consideration for ITL funding (ITL applications are due in January).  

Award Expectations: Members of WIDE will assist project recipients in identifying readings or other valuable resources for research relevant to the topic.  Upon completion of the project, the faculty must submit a report to Thomas Witherspoon, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion. Reports will be shared with Provost Alzada Tipton and President Kathy Murray.  

For questions about the DIG grants, please contact Thomas Witherspoon,