Ohio Wesleyan is launching a university-funded Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Grant program for students and employees with ideas to support OWU as an antiracist space. (Photo by Allie Hausfeld)

Antiracist Space

Ohio Wesleyan Launches Grant Program to Support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

By Cole Hatcher

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University is launching a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Grant program to support projects by students and employees that advance the OWU campus as an antiracist space.

The university-funded program will award grants twice each year of up to $1,500 for students and $5,000 for faculty and staff. All grants will be awarded and overseen by Ohio Wesleyan’s Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

“Ohio Wesleyan’s DEI Grants enable everyone on campus to think about and act upon ideas to improve the campus climate,” said Dawn Chisebe, Ohio Wesleyan’s interim chief diversity officer and chair of the DEI Council. “Everyone is excited by the potential the grants have to help us continue to advance the university and the environment it provides.”

Examples of projects that could receive DEI Grant funding include policy and program analyses, curricular changes and course development, small-scale survey work, creative works and performances, and community conversations.

“Our goal is to fund projects that lead to evidenced-based, actionable recommendations for specific change, clear benefits, or small-scale pilot implementation,” Chisebe said. “We really want the DEI Grant program to be transformative for the campus.”

After grant recipients complete their projects, they are required to submit written or digital reflections that recap their work and outline how it helps to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus.

The grant program is part of Ohio Wesleyan’s larger Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan, announced in June 2020 by President Rock Jones, Ph.D.

“Diversity improves the value of the Ohio Wesleyan experience for everyone on campus,” Jones said. “Understanding issues from multiple perspectives, participating in other ethnic and cultural traditions, and learning and living with a diverse population all help us to become better citizens, better leaders, and better people.

“Ohio Wesleyan strives every day to educate and prepare moral leaders for the global society,” Jones said. “Our DEI Action Plan and new DEI Grant program help us to achieve these vital goals.”

More information about Ohio Wesleyan’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is available online at owu.edu/dei.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more undergraduate majors than many universities its size and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature program, The OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at owu.edu.