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Center for Social Concerns awards community impact grants for academic year 2020–21

By: JP Shortall

January 25, 2021

The Center for Social Concerns has selected Community Impact Grant recipients for the 2020–21 academic year. Grants are awarded to faculty and students doing community-engaged work that advances human dignity, solidarity, and the common good, values central to Catholic social tradition and the center’s mission. The grants were awarded based upon a proposal submission and selection process and are part of the center’s continuing effort to support collaboration between campus and community partners for social justice impact.

Current Notre Dame undergraduates Anna Benedict and Louise Medina Bengtsson, and Lisa Anderson, founder of Clubhouse of St. Joseph County and adjunct faculty at the center were awarded $2,500 for “Our Stories: Building Transformative Allyships & Honoring Narratives of Mental Illness.” This project collaborates with the Clubhouse of St. Joseph County and is dedicated to three goals: bridging the gap between the Notre Dame and the South Bend communities; creating allyships and helping decrease the stigma that surrounds mental illness; and compiling and publishing a book of Clubhouse members’ personal stories and artwork.

Jenna E. Coalson, assistant professor of the practice, Department of Biological Sciences and Eck Institute for Global Health, and independent South Bend artist Brad Burgess were awarded $3,500 for “Civic Engagement and Healthy Communities: A Collaboration Between Science and Live Performing Arts in South Bend.”  This project seeks to unite experts from health sciences and the arts to explore how live performing arts can promote accurate public health information. The project will include partners from Notre Dame and the wider South Bend/St. Joseph County area, most notably the South Bend Civic Theatre.

Laura Miller-Graff, associate professor, Department of Psychology and Peace Studies and Becki Fulmer, project coordinator at the BRAVE lab, were awarded $4,500 for “Using Intensive Longitudinal Methods to Examine the Effects of Intervention and Risk and Resilience Factors on Pandemic-Related Stress Among IPV-Exposed Mother-Infant Dyads,” a project partnering with multiple community organizations to identify the mental health and relational impacts of COVID-19 on women with a history of IPV exposure and their young children.

Michel Hockx, professor of Chinese Literature and Director of the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies and Christine Cox, assistant director for programs and strategy, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies were awarded $500 to support “Visible: A Celebration of Asian American Activism, Service, and Creativity,” an online panel discussion celebrating Asian American achievement.

Amy Kryston, current Notre Dame undergraduate, and Anna Geltzer, assistant director of the John J. Reilly Center, were awarded $3,200 for “Investigating Infant and Maternal Health and Community-Based Research in St. Joseph County, Indiana,” a project intended to improve knowledge of the current maternal health crisis in the area and inform public policy. 

Michael Macaluso, assistant professor of the practice, Institute for Educational Initiatives and Kati Macaluso, assistant teaching professor, Institute for Educational Initiatives, were awarded $6,068 for “Social Justice Teacher Book Clubs,” which will partner with 20 local middle and secondary Catholic school English teachers to diversify their curricula.

Michael H. Morris, professor of the practice, McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business, Keough School of Global Affairs was awarded $3,500 for “South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program,” a program that supports a pathway out of poverty by supporting the development of sustainable enterprises. 

Will Newkirk, associate program Director, Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) and the American Indian Catholic Schools Network (AICSN), Sarah Stovicek, current Notre Dame graduate student, and Brian Collier, director and professor of the practice, ACE and AICSN, were awarded $2,500 for “American Indian Catholic Schools Network Truth and Healing Summit,” a convening of eight AICSN schools intended to educate teachers and leaders on the key elements of truth and healing within Catholic and indigenous schools.

Cara Ocobock, assistant professor, Anthropology, and current Notre Dame graduate students Morgan Widhalm Munsen and Robert K. Stanley, were awarded $5,500 for “Making At-Home Science and Representation Accessible to Low-Income Students During COVID-19.” The project seeks to address potential educational back-slide due to COVID-19, particularly for low-income students, by providing no-cost science kits for at-home educational enrichment and entertainment. They are partnering with St. Adalbert Catholic School and the Center for the Homeless for co-creation and distribution of the kits.

Current Notre Dame undergraduate students Karli Siefker and Elsa Barron were awarded $5,110 for “Fertile Ground: Sustainability Education as a Restorative Justice Practice,'' which intends to design and implement a sustainability curriculum for students at DePaul Academy in South Bend. The project seeks to integrate sustainability education as a lasting form of restorative justice and healing for students who might otherwise not encounter the topic of sustainability or comprehensive engagement with the natural world. 

Community Impact Grant proposals are reviewed once in the fall and once in the spring but will not be reviewed this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. The next deadline for applications will be during the late fall, 2021. Applicants may request grants up to $15,000. For more information on grants, please visit the grants webpage.

Contact: JP Shortall, director of communications and advancement, (574) 631-3209, jshortal@nd.edu.

 

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