UNC Greensboro Receives $100,000 Grant for Equity-Based Educational Programs

African American Diaspora Studies students listen to a professor's lecture

GREENSBORO N.C. (April 10, 2024) –UNC Greensboro (UNCG) has received a $100,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation. The grant is awarded to the African American and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) Department and is the largest grant ever received by the department. 

The award is earmarked for equity-focused curriculum development. UNCG faculty and students are planning forums for discussion of how to teach African American subject matter at the high school level, and development of lesson plans that are inclusive and give students a more complete understanding of where they live. Curriculum developed through this work will be an example for school systems across the state. 

Inspired by the University’s role in Greensboro’s civil rights movement dating back to the Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-ins in 1960, AADS was founded in 1982. The department strives to maintain education and public discourse between UNCG and the broader Greensboro community on matters of equity and recognition of complete historical narratives about race in America.  

Noelle Morrisette, AADS director and professor emphasizes that programs created by this grant will reflect student voices in “growing the world we want,” from the same soil that witnessed racial atrocities like the lynching of Eugene Hairston in 1887, which is estimated to have occurred at the intersection of Mendenhall and Spring Garden Street, on the eastern edge of UNCG’s campus today. 

“As we meet the ‘Trayvon Generation’ as well as first-generation college students in our classrooms, contend with assaults on academic freedom, and build alliances through collaboration, we strive to deepen awareness of the intersectional power that is AADS,” says Dr. Noelle Morrisette, AADS director and professor.   

UNCG student involvement in these programs is a priority. The grant will fund eight internships, which will be offered to undergraduate students with AADS majors. Interns will support the high school forums, curriculum development, document the effort through photography and multimedia projects, and engage AADS alumni with the department’s current students.  

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