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Apply for the 2024 Anti-Racist Civic Engagement Mini-Grant!

Civic Engagement is “making a difference in community life through collective, public problem solving." The Lindy Center for Civic Engagement’s Anti-Racist Civic Engagement Mini-Grant provides financial support to members of the Drexel community who are doing collective, public problem-solving work around issues of institutional and systemic racism in the campus community and/or the communities immediately surrounding the University (namely, the neighborhoods of Mantua and Powelton Village). The mini-grant aligns with Drexel University’s larger strategic goal of preparing students to address society’s most pressing challenges, and the goals of Drexel’s Anti-Racism Task Force, which include “positioning Drexel to confront and eradicate structural racism and inequality—on our campus and throughout society.”

Defining Anti-Racism:

Anti-racism is an acknowledgement of embedded racism (in the context of the United States this especially encompasses anti-Black racism) within the systems and institutions that shape our society, and the active decision to more deeply understand this issue and dismantle it, thereby creating a more equitable world for all people. Addressing societal issues using an anti-racism framework requires an understanding of how issues—for instance, housing and food insecurity, poverty, and educational disparities—relate to race and racism, and working in collective ways to find solutions to those issues that not only provide people with the resources they lack but also address the underlying systemic factors that allow the issue to perpetuate. Anti-racism also provides a framework and tools for working in community with others in equitable ways that do not replicate harmful systems—for example, ensuring all voices in a planning meeting are valued equally.

Structural racism is complex and cannot easily be solved. Our hope for the mini-grants is not that they will "solve" any issues but that they will be a catalyst for future work (for example, providing materials for a faculty member experimenting with a new partnership), and/or support particular aspects of larger projects (for example, providing food for a community meeting that is part of an ongoing relationship-building effort). 


This mini-grant is available to students, faculty, and staff working on collaborative social-change projects that either address issues directly caused by systemic racism (for instance, connecting Black homeowners to home repair resources in neighborhoods that have been systematically neglected) or address more general issues through an anti-racist lens (for instance, researching disparities in healthcare access with regard to race). Funding will be prioritized for projects that not only address issues of racism but also use anti-racist practices in their collective problem-solving work—bringing together stakeholders from multiple groups (staff, faculty, students, community members, etc.) to form inclusive, equitable relationships and processes that lead to co-created solutions. Projects can focus on any issue area as long as that issue is examined through the lens of racial justice and the project work is focused on learning, community-building, and/or collective problem-solving.

In 2024 we have the funds to distribute 5 grants of up to $1,000. Given the limited size of the award, projects best suited to this grant will be in a startup or exploratory phase or be larger projects that are seeking support for one specific component, such as purchasing supplies.

To apply: 

The Mini-Grant application can be found here. It is a form that asks questions about the applicant and the project being submitted. If you have any questions about the form, you are welcome to contact Cara Scharf in the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement at Submissions for the 2024 grant cycle will be accepted through February 18, 2024. 



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Anti-Racist Civic Engagement Mini-Grant: 

1. Where can I find examples of past projects that have received funding through this mini-grant?

We have information about past grantees here: 2022 grantees and 2023 grantees. If you are unsure whether your project is a good fit even after reviewing these examples, feel free to reach out to Cara Scharf in the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement at

2. What is in the application and how will it be reviewed? 

The application starts with simple questions about the applicant, including name, email, affiliations, and relationship to Drexel. The next questions are open-ended and ask for more information about the project that you would like funded. You will be asked to provide a summary of the project including the issue it is addressing, whether the project is new or ongoing, how the project uses a lens of anti-racism, how the project incorporates elements of civic engagement such as learning, engagement, and collective problem solving, who is involved in the project and how the collective work is done in an anti-racist way, and, finally, what the funds will potentially be used for and when. We anticipate the application will take 15-20 minutes to fill out. 

A PDF copy of the application can be found here, in case you want to draft responses before you go to the form. 

Applications will be accepted through February 18, 2024. After that deadline, the Lindy Center will pull together a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students from various campus offices and backgrounds to review submitted applications. Applicants will be notified in late March if they are selected for the grant and the funds will be available to grantees through the end of 2024. 

3. How many grantees will be selected?

We have enough funding for 5 grants of up to $1,000 each. The number of awardees will vary depending on the quality of applications, funds requested by each applicant, and funds available to disperse.

4. How much time will grantees have to use the funding?

Selected grantees will have access to funds through the end of 2024. 

5. Can I apply as part of a student organization, administrative office, or other campus entity?

Yes - we are equally interested in funding independent groups and groups affiliated with existing campus entities. 

6. Will grantees be expected to keep the Lindy Center updated on their projects?

Yes. Grantees will be expected to participate in at least one grantee check-in call about midway through the grant period. Grantees will also be expected to turn in a report at the end of the grant period detailing how they spent grant funds and how the project is progressing and/or meeting its goals. Grantees may also be invited to present their work at the Lindy Center or in other forums (for instance, for a Drexel Now article).

7. How will the funding be disbursed? 

Generally, if the grantee is part of a campus entity such as a student organization, or campus office, we will be able to do an interdepartmental fund transfer. If that is not possible or the grantee is not part of an entity that can accept a transfer, then the Lindy Center will facilitate grantee purchases and payments using our departmental funds. There will be a form that grantees will fill out to request the Lindy Center facilitate any purchases, catering, or other expenses, and the Lindy Center will work with grantees to ensure their needs are met. 

Use of grant funds is restricted to certain items. Grantees WILL NOT be permitted to use grant funds for:

  • Compensation for themselves for time spent on the grant.
  • Alcoholic beverages: grantees may use funds to buy food for events/meetings as part of their project but are not to provide alcohol.
  • Any project or work done to fulfill any academic requirement such as a course project, independent study, thesis, etc.

Grantees WILL be permitted to use grant funds for:

  • Materials/supplies: grantees may purchase items that will help with their project. Items may include books, tools, art supplies, etc.
  • Food & beverages: catering, non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, etc.
  • Generally, honoraria can be paid through grant funds but the process can take a long time so grantees must be prepared to wait. Honoraria might include payment for a community organization that is consulting on a project, an expert speaker that is presenting at an event, etc. 

8. What other funding is available for my project if I need more money or this isn't the right fit? 

Drexel's Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusive Culture offers a microgrant for events and projects that promote equity, inclusion, and belonging on campus. That application can be found here. There also may be funding available from other campus offices within EIC so please reach out to them for more information! For student organizations, there is the "Good Idea Fund" and also the Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion (SCDI) offers microgrants for students orgs doing events related to diversity, inclusion, and belonging. There may also be funding opportunities through academic departments so be sure to reach out to your advisors and/or department administrators to ask about that. One example is in LeBow, where there is a quarterly "DEI, Environment and Sustainability Innovation Micro-Grant" program (for more information on that specifically, you can reach out to Kimberly Williams in LeBow, kmw25@drexel). 

We will update this space as we become aware of additional funding opportunities. 

9. Where can I learn more about anti-racism? 

Here are some sources we find helpful: 

Talking about Race - a resource from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism - a glossary defining many of the terms we use above plus others compiled by Boston University's Diversity and Inclusion office. Definitions include useful links to more resources as well. 

Anti-Racism: What It Means and How To Be Anti-Racist - a resource from KQED for educators that includes some brief definitions and links to additional resources

What Anti-Racism Really Means for Educators - Article from Learning for Justice, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center 

Racial Justice Learning Guide - a guide put together by Lindy Center for Civic Engagement in response to the racial equity movement work of 2020 that helps people get more informed, engaged, and reflective about issues of racial equity as they join in movement work