News & Annoucements

News & Annoucements

Fri, 2019-07-12 12:59 -- nprad

RJE Release – Lumina Foundation


Temple University’s MSBS Pilot Receives Grant from Lumina Foundation’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity

 Selected from more than 300 grant proposals


INDIANAPOLIS (June 12, 2018) –Temple University’s Academic Center on Research in Diversity (ACCORD), the Faculty Senate Committee on the Status of Faculty of Color (FOC) and the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership (IDEAL) received a $50,000 grant from Lumina Foundation’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, to fund “Moving from Safe to Brave Spaces through Interactive Community Conversations (MSBS).” The Temple MSBS team will conduct interactive campus-and-community conversations during which participants will create body maps and first-person narratives describing the effects of racism on their bodies. Participants will then create a theater production to tell the stories they have written through this introspective process. (The Temple team Includes: Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon (PI); Tiffenia D. Archie, Donna-Marie Peters, Sonja Peterson-Lewis, Rickie Sanders, Elizabeth L. Sweet, Karen M. Turner (Co-PIs); Valerie Dudley and Nu’Rodney Prad (Staff).

From a pool of 312 nation-wide applicants, Temple University was one of 19 colleges and universities selected to receive funding from Lumina’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity. The fund was created last year in response to racially motivated violence in Charlottesville on the campus of the University of Virginia.

The grants announced today were in response to what the foundation saw as an urgent need to improve the atmosphere around race on campuses across the country.

“As a philanthropic leader, Lumina shares a deep passion and concern about the nation’s racial climate, especially on college campuses,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “These campuses have shown a willingness to address racial disparities at a systemic level: They recognize that achieving equitable results is about more than promoting diversity – it’s about whether the institution fosters a climate in which every student feels welcome and has the same opportunity to earn a degree or certificate of value, regardless of race or ethnicity.”

In partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Lumina evaluated grant applications submitted in response to a request for proposals. The number of responses indicates a strong desire throughout higher education to improve campus culture through community dialogues, faculty and staff development, and other creative approaches. Lumina received proposals from a wide breadth of institutions, including two- and four-year, public and private, large and small, and minority-serving.


Archie, Sweet and Williams-Witherspoon have stated “Our use of the creative arts affords us the opportunity to include innovative methodologies in our racial equity and social justice work.”


About Lumina Foundation:

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Lumina envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. The Foundation’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.


Grantee Media contacts:

Dr. Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon

Dr. Elizabeth L. Sweet

Lumina Media contact:

Kate Snedeker