Congratulations to the three Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity award recipients from Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences! This new competitive internal funding opportunity allows faculty to apply for up to $15,000 to conduct innovative research, scholarship, and creative activity. The aim of this program is meant to support critical gaps in knowledge related to equity, diversity and inclusion or to benefit impacted communities. Below is a summary of each of the funded projects.

Chapman University and Underground GRIT Partnership to Provide Post-secondary Education for Re-entry Students
Amount Awarded: $14,966
Dr. Victoria Carty, Associate Professor of Sociology
Collaborators: Gregory Barraza,(Chapman University, Lecturer), Suzanne Campbell (Underground GRIT), Crystal Anthony (Underground GRIT), Sharon Tang (Underground GRIT)

The Chapman University and Underground GRIT (UG) Partnership helps young people who have been impacted by the criminal justice system re-enter society from juvenile hall, prison, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention. To accomplish this goal, the program invites them to participate in courses taught by Chapman University faculty. This initiative will benefit formerly incarcerated students in UG’s re-entry program, all of whom are Latinx and from low-income households, by providing coursework, experience, and skills necessary to advance in higher education. This partnership will further Drs. Carty and Barraza’s innovative research on post-secondary education in juvenile hall. Funds will be used to hire Chapman student assistants to help with mentorship, class facilitation, and tutoring, and to purchase laptops, textbooks, and other classroom supplies for the UG participants.

Images of the Japanese American Internment in Popular Culture
Amount Awarded: $15,000
Dr. Stephanie Takaragawa, Associate Professor of Sociology
Collaborators: Winston Andrus (MA War and Society)

Images of the Japanese American Internment in Popular Culture examines popular cultural representations of the internment in the form of comics and graphic novels from WWII to the present. How did the American public understand the internment, and how were those images displayed in contemporary popular culture? This project seeks to create an exhibition of images of the internment from daily newspapers disseminated during WWII, which included a Superman comic strip, where he visits an internment camp, to the recent outpouring of graphic novel interpretations of the internment, including George Takei’s And Then They Came For Us as Scalar online exhibition and a physical traveling museum show. Funds will be used to hire a Graduate Research Assistant to work with Dr. Takaragawa to gather data, research the history of representation of Internment camps, develop a timeline of representations of internment through popular culture, and launch the online Scalar exhibition. Funds will also be used to secure the rights to reproduce these images.

Researching the lives, interests, and experiences of African Americans and the African Diaspora
Amount Awarded: $15,000
Dr. Charissa Threat, Associate Professor of History
Collaborators: Dr. Kevin Ross (Interim Dean of Leatherby Libraries), Dr. Angelica Allen (Assistant Professor of Africana Studies), Dr. Stephanie Takaragawa (Associate Dean, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences)

Researching the lives, interests, and experiences of African Americans and the African Diaspora seeks to fill a critical gap in access to resources to support the investigation of the African American and the African Diasporic Experience through the acquisition of the ProQuest Historical Black Newspaper Database. The ProQuest Historical Newspapers-Black Newspapers Database “offers primary source materials essential to the study of American history and African-American culture, history, politics, and the arts.” [ProQuest] Mainstream newspapers of the 19th and 20th centuries rarely published news of and by African Americans in the United States. Black newspapers are unique and fundamental to our present understanding of the lives of people of African descent in the United States and beyond and provide the ability to critically examine the concerns, interests, and values relating to the Black community. Funds will be used to acquire the database in conjunction with the Leatherby Libraries.

Dr. Georgiana Bostean (Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Health and Policy) is a collaborator on Dr. Jason Douglas’ (Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, Crean College of Health and Behavorial Sciences) project, Observing Neighborhood Disorder Surrounding Tobacco Shops, Off-Sale Alcohol Outlets, and Marijuana Dispensaries in South Los Angeles, CA which was awarded $14,955.

We look forward to seeing the outcome of these projects, which will elevate the national visibility and reputation of our entire college, and demonstrate the timeless value and importance of the arts, humanities, and social sciences to better understand our past, present, and future.