2022 - 2023
- Melvin Van Peebles Symposium, submitted by Eva Paris-Huesca, Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of Film Studies Program; Francine Butler, Delaware educator, Intervention Specialist, and choreographer; Jason Timpson, Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs; and Adrian Moran ’23, a Senior at OWU majoring in Politics and Government with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. The Melvin Van Peebles Symposium was a three-day sold-out symposium, dedicated to honoring and celebrating the life and legacy of the trailblazing Black filmmaker and 1953 OWU alumni Melvin Van Peebles. This event aimed to provide a platform to review, study, and share the historical and contemporary impact of Van Peebles, and learn how through this examination, we might gain important insights about broader political and cultural dynamics. Furthermore, the symposium seeked to recognize emerging artists and artistry that extend Van Peebles’ radical tradition.
- Jada Respress ’23, embarked on a groundbreaking research project that explored press freedom in two distinct democracies. The project aimed to understand how a free press operates in a young democracy where the government is predominantly black but the racial majority of Cape Town is colored, compared to a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy with a predominantly white population. Repress examined the challenges faced by journalists in both countries and the impact of government policies on press freedom. She also explored the role of the media in shaping public opinion and promoting democracy during her time abroad. Following her grant Respress shared insights with the Ohio Wesleyan campus, using her work to advocate for a potential new Communication class.
- The Remarkable Contributions of Black Women to Gynecological Care: Highlighting Their Role in Shaping Women's Health, submitted by Jemimah Chukwuemeka ’26, a Freshman from Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, and Anya Robinson ’26, a Freshman from Belleville, Illinois. Chukwuemeka and Robinson attended the Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey Day of Reckoning Conference to learn about the historical inequalities in healthcare that have affected Black women. The conference gave attention to the lives of three enslaved women who underwent multiple gynecological surgeries without their consent during the mid-1800s. In March, during Women’s History Month, they collaborated with Ohio Wesleyan’s Black Student Union to spread information about the Day of Reckoning Conference and the ongoing inequalities in healthcare to the rest of the campus.
- Nuri Craig ’25, a Sophomore from Mount Vernon, Ohio. Craig is using his grant to support travel to Southern Africa to observe differences in how food is produced, marketed, and advertised in Lesotho, and how the methods could be applied in the United States. Craig is a Nutrition major and a Black World Studies minor.
- Faith Deschamps ’24, a Junior from East Orange, New Jersey. Deschamps is using her grant to support travel to South Africa, Lesotho, and Eswatini to study Black women’s health activism in Southern Africa. Deschamps is a Black World Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies double major and a Religion and Sociology-Anthropology double minor.
- Jazz Zimmerman ’25, a Sophomore from Vermillion, Ohio. Zimmerman is using her grant to support travel to Southern Africa to learn about the roles that women play in South African wildlife crime and why their involvement has been overlooked in research. Zimmerman is a Pre-Professional Zoology major and a Women’s and Gender studies minor.
- Meredith Frymyer ’23, a Senior from Ostrander, Ohio. Frymyer used her grant to support restoring and recognizing the Fragua Memorial on campus. The outdoor site features a mural created in 2014 by Jemez Pueblo artist Jaque Fragua in collaboration with the Student Led Arts Movement (SLAM) and campus community. The mural is located on the amphitheater west of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center. Once the restoration is complete, Frymyer will bring powwow dancer Larry Yazzie to OWU to help celebrate the site. Frymyer, who expects to graduate in December, is a Social Justice and Pre-Law double major and a History minor.
- Marquel Henry ’24, a Junior from Dayton, Ohio, and Dillon Shelton ’24, a Junior from Solon, Ohio. They used their DEI Grant to attend the Just Economy Conference 2023, held March 29-30 in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), the conference seeks to bring together “community, business, foundation, policy, and government leaders who want a nation that not only promises but delivers opportunities for all Americans to build wealth and live well. Topics covered range from fair housing and lending to workforce and community development. While at the conference, Henry and Shelton met with Gregory Dyson, OWU Class of 1980, chief operating officer of the NCRC. Henry is a Black World Studies and Business (Management Concentration) double major, and Shelton is a Health and Human Kinetics major.
2021 - 2022
- Documenting Diversity, submitted by Anna duSaire ’22, a Senior from St. Louis Park, Minnesota. duSaire used her DEI Grant to create a documentary film that explores the sense of belonging felt by the university’s students of color. duSaire is a Sociology/Anthropology and Politics and Government double-major and Social Justice minor.
- Theatre-as-Service Connection Weekend, submitted by Brian Granger, assistant professor of theatre. Granger’s grant supported his project, to travel to historic Staunton, Virginia, with students to learn about the city’s historic African American business district and about foundational concepts in applied theatre. The Students then applied their knowledge by assisting as tech crew for “What We Lost,” a work of outdoor, museum theatre to commemorate the African American business district and acknowledge its intentional dismantling.Granger and his students also attended a production of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” at the historic Blackfriars Theatre.
- Recital with a Diverse Repertoire, submitted by Angel Tyler, residiential life coordinator. Tyler seeked to provide a crash course into the value of diversity in the classical repertoire and which provided multiple opportunities for the community to examine prospective repertoire to include in their studios. This grant aimed to provide ample opportunities for scholars, artists, and the general public to engage in meaningful conversations about the transformative power of art, with a special focus on opera as a vehicle for bringing about social and political change.
- Mutual Respect Training, submitted by Sean Bolender, Director of Public Safety. Bolender’s grant supported training for OWU Public Safety officers provided by Mutual Respect Consulting and facilitated by a certified diversity professional and a retired police lieutenant. The summer training seeked to engage the participants in dialogues and exercises that stress the importance of other perspectives and experiences, touching on topics that include unconscious bias, power hierarchies, and comprehending and working effectively with resistances.
2020 - 2021
- Social & Political Responses to Racialized Health Messages, submitted by Phokeng Dailey, assistant professor of communication; Brianna Mack, assistant professor of politics and government; and Jason Timpson, Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. They seeked to expand our knowledge of how the racialized framing of illness/disease (COVID-19; HIV/AIDS; opioid addiction) may lead to increased/decreased public policy support. The results of this study have been used to provide concrete recommendations to OWU’s health center regarding health messaging strategies that are likely to increase student compliance with recommended health prevention behaviors (such as masking) and utilization of campus health resources (such as counseling).
- Oral Histories of Food, Community, and Migration, submitted by Christopher Fink, associate professor of health and human kinetics, and Eugene Rutigliano, OWU’s digital initiatives librarian and curator of the OWU Historical Collection. Dr. Fink and Rutigliano used their grant to explore the intersections between food, race, immigration, and community through the collection of oral histories describing the lived experiences of immigrant and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities. Stories from the community and students were displayed at a public exhibition, following a conversation about the results of this project and contribute to dialogues related to antiracism work on campus.
- First Generation Investors, submitted by Reese Little ’21, a Junior from Short Hills, New Jersey. Little used his DEI Grant to support an initiative he spearheaded in the Fall semester when he created a campus chapter of First Generation Investors. The nonprofit 501(c)3 organization teaches high school students in underserved communities the power of investing and provides them with real money to invest. Student Reese Little was the first recipient of university-funded Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Grant launched in Spring of 2021.