Building just and durable democracies in the 21st century depends on extending the benefits of higher education to all, and enabling students of all social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds to experience and value diversity and inclusiveness in their pursuit of learning. 

Mission and Goals

The Diversity program seeks to help diversify the next generation of college and university faculty through the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) and other pipeline programs; it also aims to strengthen institutions that improve educational attainment of historically underrepresented groups.  More generally, the Diversity grantmaking area supports projects or research focused on the relationship between diversity and learning.  New areas and strengthened emphases include:

  • An initiative to increase representation of the Latino/a population in PhD programs and the professoriate
  • Programs to increase the percentage of MMUF fellows who enroll in PhD programs
  • Partnerships between strongly performing HBCUs and neighboring institutions capable of contributing to curricular enhancement
  • Support for organizations that employ traditional and non-traditional means to help colleges and universities diversify their student population 
  • Research to increase understanding of diversity and efforts at diversification and inclusion
  • Support or co-sponsorship across program areas of projects that promote diversification or seek to advance evolving understandings of diversity’s role in democratic societies

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