PHONE: (313) 593-5518
DATE: DEc. 12, 2005
UM-Dearborn receives $100,000 grant from Ford Foundation for "Difficult Dialogues"
DEARBORN---The University of Michigan-Dearborn has received a $100,000
grant from the Ford Foundation as part of the foundation's Difficult Dialogues
initiative, created in response to reports of growing intolerance and
efforts to curb academic freedom at colleges and universities.
UM-Dearborn and a program on the Ann Arbor campus were among 27 institutions
selected for the grants in national competition that drew more than 675
UM-Dearborn's project, titled "Dearborn Legacy, Dearborn Promise:
New Learning Across Race, Religion, Culture and Ethnicity," will
begin next semester with a series of faculty and course development activities.
Over the next two years, the project will develop a series of courses,
public lectures and related activities addressing the racial divide; religious
diversity and intolerance; and issues of Middle Eastern identity, politics
and culture relevant to our campus and regional community.
"The residents of this region are highly diverse in terms of race,
ethnicity and religion, while at the same time, the Detroit area remains
one of the nation's most racially and economically segregated," according
to UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little. "This campus recognizes
the legacy of the region and has been developing an academic infrastructure
to increase our capacity for meaningful, difficult dialogue as we construct
new learning across race, culture, religion and ethnicity."
The Ford Foundation launched Difficult Dialogues in April 2005 as part
of a broader, $12 million effort to understand and combat anti-Semitism,
Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry in the United States and Europe.
It builds on the foundation's other forms of supporting colleges and universities
to foster more inclusive campus environments and to engage effectively
with the growing racial, religious and ethnic diversity of their student
"Colleges and universities are uniquely suited to expand knowledge,
understanding and discussion of controversial issues that affect us all,"
said Susan V. Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation. "The
selected projects illustrate the thoughtful and creative ways institutions
are promoting intellectually rigorous scholarship and open debate that
is essential to higher education."