BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Tackling new and old pandemics, Indiana University is investing in additional research on racial justice and establishing a task force to combat the negative impact COVID-19 has had on women researchers the UI.

The university is funding 31 research projects exploring racial justice, including the pandemic’s impact on black-owned businesses, a partnership with school districts to encourage youth activism for racial justice, storytelling for heal racial trauma and other critical issues. The projects are funded with the support of the UI Racial Justice Research Fund, which continues to accept new proposals on an ongoing basis.

“I continue to be impressed with the research proposals submitted and ultimately selected to address racial inequalities and social injustice in our communities and across our country,” said James C. Wimbush, Vice President for Diversity , equity and multicultural affairs; dean of the Higher University School; and the Johnson Chair for Diversity and Leadership. “The faculty at IU is constantly researching leading to innovative and creative initiatives, I look forward to the progress and results of this very important work.”

Here are some examples of projects supported by the fund, created in June:

Racial disparities among small businesses

While the paycheck protection program loans that Congress passed at the start of the pandemic appeared to be low barrier, black businesses struggled to secure these loans and in some cases received more loans. smaller than those given to white business owners. Candace Miller, Visiting Assistant Professor at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Bloomington, will analyze racial disparities in the loan distribution process.

Miller, who is also a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity, hopes her study will inform debates about economic justice for black communities, prompting policymakers and others to examine how long-standing racial disparities have shaped society. access to resources during crises.

Support young Hoosier activists

Working with the Bartholomew County Youth Development Council, school districts and local organizations, Stephanie Serriere will research ways to better support and encourage young Hoosier activists working for racial justice. Serriere, professor of social science education at IUPUC, will lead surveys and interviews involving more than 200 young Hoosier racial justice activists.

Her work will engage Hoosier youth to better understand how Indiana schools and communities prepare, support, or hinder student participation in informed racial justice activism. Serriere’s findings will have direct implications for the renewed anti-racist frameworks in teacher preparation programs and K-12 public schools.

Storytelling and racial trauma

“Living African-American” in the United States, as De Bryant, professor of psychology at IU South Bend, puts it, can be an “unrelenting burden.” Bryant’s newly-funded project will explore how the arts, particularly storytelling and poetry, can help alleviate the stress of systemic racism and offer cures for burnout related to racial trauma. The project will feature a podcast series focusing on issues such as identity, power, loss and recovery, combined with oral poetry and an opportunity for listeners to upload their own creative answers.

Phase 1 funding for nine projects the Racial Justice Research Fund was announced in late August. Since then, 22 additional projects have been funded.

The IU Racial Justice Research Fund is jointly administered by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

A complete list of projects Receiving financial support from the IU Racial Justice Research Fund is available on the website of the Office of the Vice President, Research.

Research Gender Equity Working Group

The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating many long-standing systemic issues, including gender inequalities.

“As we facilitate research to understand and respond to racial injustice in our society, we must also address issues of injustice within the UI research community and in the research environment more broadly, including those exacerbated by COVID-19, “the IU vice president for research said. Fred H. Cate. “Researchers like that of IU Cassidy Sugimoto documented how the shift to work from home has meant that many female academics have taken on increased domestic responsibilities, especially childcare, and, as a result, have come under increased pressure on their academic productivity. No one expects easy answers, but I look forward to both what the task force’s work reveals and its recommendations on how to improve equity among UI researchers. “

The Gender Equity in Research Working Group, formed by Cate, will explore the negative impact of the pandemic on research productivity at the IU and propose feasible short and long-term solutions in the UI search context.

About UI research

World-class UI researchers have driven the innovation and creative initiatives that have counted for 200 years. From curing testicular cancer to working with NASA to research life on Mars, IU has earned its reputation as a world-class research institution. Backed by $ 854 million last year from our partners, UI researchers are building collaborations and discovering new solutions that improve lives in Indiana and around the world.


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