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Six projects receive IDEA grants

  • IDEA grants:
    IDEA grants:  One of the IDEA grants helped fund a campus visit by Ntozake Shange in November. The poet, playwright, performer and activist participated in a number of discussions with students and faculty, visited classes and attended a staged reading of her work.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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The Office of Diversity & Equal Opportunity recently granted Innovative Diversity Efforts Awards (IDEA) to six projects that aim to further diversity and inclusion at William & Mary.

Project proposals were submitted in the fall by faculty and students across the university. This year’s projects include guest speakers and special events on topics ranging from Middle Eastern culture to cultural competence for teachers.

"The implementation of the IDEA grant program has provided opportunities to increase diversity initiatives on campus and provides an opportunity for individuals and organizations to use creative ways to talk about difficult subjects," said Chief Diversity Officer Chon Glover. "I'm especially excited by this year's programs that are focused on training and education."

The first set of IDEA grants were awarded in 2011, and a minimum of three grants per year have been awarded since. Each approved project receives between about $500 and $1,500, depending on its scope.

The most recently funded projects include:

"Lost in Language and Sound: or, How I found My Way to the Arts": Conversations and a Reading with Ntozake Shange

Submitted by Artisia Green, Associate Professor of Theatre and Africana Studies

Award-winning poet, novelist, playwright, performer and political activist Ntozake Shange participated in a series of events at William & Mary in November 2015, including a staged reading of her work presented by students and Green.

"Systemic Suppression": Annual Symposium on Race and the Law

Submitted by Brittany McGill, law student

A panel discussion will be held on mass incarceration and voter suppression during the annual symposium on race and the law, hosted by the Black Law Students Association. The symposium is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Sadler Center.

Cultural Competence Training for Teacher Candidates

Submitted by Melanie Lichtenstein, graduate student in education

Doctoral students in the School of Education will lead a professional development symposium for pre-service teachers on working in diverse schools and communities. The symposium is scheduled to be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 26 in the Professional Development Center at the School of Education. The event is limited to 80 participants, and registration is available at

W&M Mattachine Research Project: Documenting the LGBTIQ Past in Virginia

Submitted by Cindy Hahamovitch, Chair and Class of '38 Professor of History

Members of the campus community involved in the William & Mary Mattachine Project, which launched in the fall, will present their research on Virginia’s LGBTIQ history with an exhibit and reception in Swem Library. The exhibit, which will be located to the left of the front lobby, will be installed March 31 and will remain in place through April. It will include wall-hangings of panels that the researchers will be creating from the textual and photographic evidence they have collected.

‘In the Absence of Unreliable Ghosts’ by Dr. Anjali Arondekar

Submitted by R. Benedito Ferrao, Mellon Faculty Fellow in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Anjali Arondekar, an associate professor at the University of California Santa Cruz, will give a talk April 26 in Tucker Hall room 127A on the colonial archive of Portuguese India and the Gomantak Maratha Samaj, a community of artists. The talk will be part of the Capstone Seminar Conference, which will begin at 3:30 p.m. and conclude with Arondekar's keynote address at appoximately 6 p.m.

Middle Eastern Cultural Day

Submitted by Driss Cherkaoui, Associate Professor of Arabic Studies; May George, Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies; and Mona Zaki, Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies

The public event is expected to include Arabic music, poetry reading, student presentations, a clothing exhibit, documentaries and food. Details on the date, time and location are forthcoming.