Rutgers University–Newark Receives Lumina Awards Grant for Racial Justice and Equity

(Newark, NJ, June 11, 2018) – Rutgers UniversityNewark received a $25,000 grant from Lumina Foundation’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, to fund the initiative, “Leveraging Our Diversity for Minority Student Success.” This initiative will further enrich Rutgers University-Newark's diverse campus climate by leveraging non-traditional pedagogical practices geared to increase minority students' learning, commitment to civic responsibility, knowledge of their community and the world, and motivation to successfully complete college and go on to become informed and enthusiastic change agents in their own communities and beyond

From a pool of 312 nationwide applicants, Rutgers UniversityNewark was one of 19 college and universities selected to receive funding from Lumina’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity. The fund was created last year in response to racially motivated violence in Charlottesville on the campus of the University of Virginia.

The grants announced today were in response to what the foundation saw as an urgent need to improve the atmosphere around race on campuses across the country.

“As a philanthropic leader, Lumina shares a deep passion and concern about the nation’s racial climate, especially on college campuses,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “These campuses have shown a willingness to address racial disparities at a systemic level: They recognize that achieving equitable results is about more than promoting diversity – it’s about whether the institution fosters a climate in which every student feels welcome and has the same opportunity to earn a degree or certificate of value, regardless of race or ethnicity.”

In partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Lumina evaluated grant applications submitted in response to a request for proposals. The number of responses indicates a strong desire throughout higher education to improve campus culture through community dialogues, faculty and staff development, and other creative approaches. Lumina received proposals from a wide breadth of institutions, including 2- and 4-year, public and private, large and small, and minority-serving.

“Rutgers University-Newark has a long history as one of the nation’s most diverse universities – in fact, there is no majority group in our student body. We constantly think about how to leverage that diversity to be an ever more honest, dynamic and welcoming space. We know that campus climate is critical to students’ academic and life success. As we have pondered what more we can do, we increasingly focus on how to change the classroom experience to reflect how students learn in today’s challenging world. This linchpin grant will help us redesign the academic learning spaces to improve student outcomes while at the same time have a demonstrable impact on the great city of Newark in which we are embedded,” says Dr. Bonita Veysey (Co-PI), and Director of the P3 Collaboratory for Pedagogy, Professional Development and Publicly-engaged Scholarship.

About Rutgers University-Newark

Rutgers University–Newark (RU-N) is a diverse, urban, public research university that is an anchor institution in New Jersey’s cultural capital.  Nearly 13,000 students are currently enrolled at its 38-acre campus in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered through the College of Arts and Sciences, University College, the Graduate School, Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, the Rutgers Law School – Newark, the School of Criminal Justice, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration. RU-N is exceptionally well positioned to fulfill higher education’s promise as an engine of discovery, innovation, and social mobility. It has a remarkable legacy of producing high-impact scholarship that is connected to the great questions and challenges of the world. It has the right mix of disciplines and interdisciplinary centers and institutes to take on those questions and challenges. It is in and of a city and region where its work on local challenges undertaken with partners from many sectors resonates powerfully throughout our urbanizing world. Most importantly, RU-N brings an incredible diversity of people to this work—students, faculty, staff, and community partners—making it more innovative, more creative, more engaging, and more relevant for our time and the times ahead.  For more information, please visit

About Lumina Foundation

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Lumina envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. The Foundation’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.