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Grant of $100,000 to Boost ODU’s Community Work Related to Race, Gender and Sexuality

The Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Old Dominion University has been awarded a $100,000 grant from The Mellon Foundation to support community efforts related to the study of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

The grant will support ODU and community outreach projects including an LGBTQ+ local history project, a refugee studies partnership, a doula training program, and experiences that empower students and help them become change makers.

"The study of race, gender, and sexuality has become ever more central to work in the humanities over the last thirty years or so," said Mellon's Director of Higher Learning Phillip Brian Harper in a Mellon Foundation news release. "It is important that inquiry in these areas — which is of perennial interest to students — continue to enjoy robust support."

Through its newly created Affirming Multivocal Humanities Initiative, the foundation awarded more than $18 million to 95 public college and university programs — across 66 institutions — that advance the study of race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.

Nicole Willock, interim chair of ODU's Department of Women's and Gender Studies (WGS), said the department is grateful to receive The Mellon Foundation's support.

"This provides a huge boost to our department's work to build our community outreach efforts to promote the program and to involve more advocates, including students, alumna, and community members," she said.

"A hearty congratulations goes out to Dr. Elizabeth Groeneveld, Dr. Jennifer Fish, Professor Lee Ellen Knight, Dr. Amy Milligan, Dr. Ruth Osorio, and Professor Cathleen Rhodes as well as their students and the supporters of WGS for their innovative community- and care-centered approach to teaching and learning that this funding recognizes and supports."

As the nation's largest funder of the arts, culture, and humanities, Mellon has a track record of supporting study of multivocality within academia.

This link offers more insight into the Mellon Foundation's Affirming Multivocal Humanities initiative.

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