Contact: Sonita Sarker, 651-696-6316 firstname.lastname@example.org WOMEN'S AND GENDER STUDIES PROGRAM AT MACALESTER COLLEGE
AWARDED $45,000 FORD FOUNDATION GRANTFOR RESEARCH ON SOCIAL JUSTICE AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
St. Paul, Minn. -- Macalester College's
Women's and Gender Studies Program has received a $45,000 grant from the Ford Foundation
for a two-year project titled "Academic Excellence Through Civic Responsibility."
The grant is part of the foundation's Emerging Leaders, New Directions initiative.
..."The Women's and Gender Studies Program will create opportunities for students and faculty to work with local, national, and international women's and minority organizations, build student leadership as well as empower new and accountable forms of academic research," said Macalester Professor Sonita Sarker, project director and chair of the college's Women's and Gender Studies Program, as well as a faculty member in the English Department.
"The main focus of the project will be public scholarship that emphasizes the connection between feminist theorizing and practice, and unites academics with its related communities towards positive social change."
The project will bring feminist political, social, and cultural theory alive for students by incorporating the practical experience of working with community groups.The project will:
--Establish stipends for entrepreneurial projects in which Macalester students in the women's and gender studies program collaborate on research projects with an organization.
"Each of the activities models strategies to address a lack or under-attended area in our current (co)curricular practices and, thus, effect change in the intellectual and social climate, " said Sarker
."We intend that the actions will lead to each individual's and group's effort to review their priorities for career-paths, professional objectives and research opportunities, all with an eye to working for the common good by blending the different histories of theory and practice.The long-term goal is to effect an organic cultural change of the WGS and the larger academic environment so that pluralism and diversity are seen as politically integral to the educational mission."
The project is one of several in which Macalester
is exploring opportunities to play a proactive role in civic/social justice efforts in the community.The campus has a long-standing tradition of community service in which more than half of all students volunteer with community organizations.In addition, the college is engaged in action research programs in which students and faculty combine classroom work with research projects requested by nonprofit organizations as well as government agencies.