Lumina Fund for Racial Justice and Equity

Lumina Foundation, in partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is pleased to release this RFP for grants that are designed to support postsecondary institutions that are implementing significant work to advance equity on campus and in the broader community.

Why Equity Matters

While the face of America is changing, economic, and social inequities among racial and ethnic groups persist. Historical and current patterns of discrimination, segregation, and racism continue to foster disparities that make it increasingly difficult for many individuals to achieve the social and economic mobility that has been promised by the American dream. American Indian, African-American, and Hispanic citizens are disproportionately poor, have limited access to quality education, and are underrepresented in positions of power. Without intentional and focused efforts to address equity and racial justice in our society, the gaps will only continue to grow.

Education is the great equalizer. However, racial and ethnic stratification plague our nation’s educational system. Schools are more segregated than a decade ago, dropout rates are highest among African-American, American Indian, and Hispanic learners, and these learners are less likely to earn postsecondary credentials. Given this polarization, American higher education is also at a critical juncture with regard to equity and excellence. As global demand for postsecondary skills and knowledge rises, the pace at which Americans are obtaining postsecondary degrees continues to lag behind other countries. Moreover, this situation is exacerbated by the persistent gap in credential attainment by race in the United States, according to the most recent Census figures.

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