Two Hendrix Projects Receive Continued Support from ACS Mellon Grants

Two Hendrix programs receiving Mellon Foundation grant funding from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) have received additional funding through ACS and Mellon to continue the programs established within the past year: the Hendrix College Microaggressions and Microaffirmations (M&M) Project and ACS FOCUS.

The Hendrix College M&M Project is aimed at raising awareness about microaggressions and promoting the campus adoption of microaffirmations. In the process, the hope is to create a model that can be applied at other ACS schools to encourage greater inclusivity in campus communities.

“The project involves taking pictures of students holding up written signs of their encounters with micro-behaviors, developing a website to feature the pictures, and utilizing the website as part of classroom instruction, faculty and staff development, student leadership training, and the like,” said Dr. Michael Miyawaki, an assistant professor of sociology at Hendrix and administrator of the project. For the calendar year 2018, the M&M Project focused on race, ethnicity, and culture. In 2019, the theme will be gender and sexuality.

The other project receiving continued funding, ACS FOCUS – Faculty of Color Uniting for Success, is a collaboration among three ACS institutions: Southwestern University, Millsaps College and Hendrix College. ACS FOCUS addresses the challenges that faculty of color face in their path to professional success in the academy.

With the additional funding, ACS FOCUS will provide a second summer institute for faculty of color (the first took place in the summer of 2018). The institute will address scholarly productivity through specific goal setting, designated time for scholarship each day, and follow-ups on progress. The project will also bring in trained facilitators to assist faculty with topics such as self-care, cultivating mentors, tenure and promotion, and navigating service demands. In addition, it aims to explicitly build a peer mentoring network by facilitating cross-institutional relationships.

“This grant project also incorporates sustained advocacy, and aims to raise awareness and support for the challenges that faculty of color within ACS consortia schools face,” said Dr. Dionne Jackson, chief diversity officer and vice president for diversity and inclusion at Hendrix. “The project’s overall objectives are to enhance recruitment, success, and the retention of faculty of color at our institutions.”

“These projects are great examples of the work our faculty are doing to promote the liberal arts experience for our students, and to promote diversity and inclusion on our campus and across our academic consortium,” said Dr. Leslie Templeton, professor of psychology and associate provost for faculty development at Hendrix.