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As part of its mission to make Cornell a more diverse and inclusive environment for faculty, staff and students, the Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity (PADE) have awarded three Belonging at Cornell innovation grants of $15,000 apiece for 2021 programming. One of the three grants will go to a collaboration between CALS, the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, and the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) on a Summit on Entrepreneurship and Equity. 

The grant program is one of the Belonging at Cornell (BaC) initiatives and aligns with the action-oriented response to issues identified through the BaC survey, sent in February 2020 to faculty and staff on the Ithaca, Geneva and Cornell Tech campuses, which asked about their sense of belonging, fair treatment, willingness to recommend Cornell and experience with marginalizing behaviors.

The grant committee sought proposals that align with institution-wide objectives of improving the Cornell experience for students, faculty and staff, and foster a sense of belonging, promote fair treatment and support the environment of Cornell as a great place to study and work. Collaboration across colleges/units, and promise to drive sustained impact to the Cornell community, were key criteria for the grant selection.

The grants program was originally announced for the award of two grants of $20,000 for 2021 projects. However, of the 16 excellent proposals and five outstanding finalists, three stood out such that the Presidential Advisors increased the number of grantees.

For the Summit on Entrepreneurship and Equity, project organizers will plan a two-day virtual event that includes keynote speakers, workshops, discussions and other activities to allow engagement by participants. Objectives will include increasing the diversity of individuals who serve as entrepreneurial leaders; and redefining entrepreneurial success to focus on contributions to social, racial, environmental and climate justice. The focus of the event blends two of Cornell’s key priority areas, and includes collaboration between CALS, the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and CVM.

Project leads include: Chelsea D. Specht, associate dean for diversity and inclusion, CALS; Melanie J. Ragin, assistant dean for inclusion and academic excellence, CVM; and Michelle Duguid, associate dean for diversity, inclusion and belonging, SC Johnson.

To learn more about the other grants awarded, visit the Cornell Chronicle.

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