Rutgers University has received a $15 million grant, one of the largest in the school’s history, to start an institute focusing on global racial justice, the school announced Thursday.
The five-year grant for the new Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers comes from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The effort will span Rutgers' three campuses, in New Brunswick, Newark and Camden.
“The nation is at a tipping point with respect to racial and social justice," Rutgers president Jonathan Holloway said in a statement. "This grant will enable Rutgers, an institution older than the country itself, to be an international leader in understanding the causes, effects, and solutions to problems that have plagued the world.”
Universities around the country are focusing on racial justice in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, and as the coronavirus pandemic hits communities of color harder, highlighting existing inequities.
The grant will allow Rutgers, with more than 71,000 students and 23,600 faculty and staff, to nurture scholars in social justice and racial inequality and work with faculty across disciplines, including law, language, philosophy, history and gender studies. It will include named professorships.
Michelle Stephens, dean of humanities at the New Brunswick campus, submitted the grant application on behalf of the university and will serve as the institute’s founding director, the school said.