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JEDI Innovation Fund

The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Innovation Fund program is a college-wide initiative that demonstrates how we can join together as a community to support institutional change. JEDI Innovation Funds offer a way for students, staff, and faculty to create and develop innovative and grassroots efforts to support our college-wide strategic initiatives and support our commitment to DEI.

There are three specific goals related to the JEDI Innovation Grants Program:

  1. To fund creative projects that advance the college goal to recruit, retain, and develop a diverse community.

    Examples of projects include:

    • Guest artists, designers, programs and/or events focused on DEI issues
    • Trainings that support faculty pedagogy and faculty development.
    • Training and development that support staff knowledge, awareness, and skill related to DEI
    • Programs that promote community building such as a reading group, affinity spaces/groups, cultural community events, etc.
  2. To equip individuals with the cross-cultural skills necessary to engage with others in ways that foster dialogue, enable understanding and overall promote a commitment to growing in our DEI competence and confidence.
  3. Empower our campus community to collaborate with each other, across departments/divisions and create programs and opportunities that are in service to the entire community.

Highest consideration will be given to projects that:

  • Promote cross-campus collaboration (across units/departments/student organizations) and partnership approaches to support community-building.
  • Have the potential for a significant impact (e.g., sustainable, replicable, and/or far-reaching)
  • Include outcomes that are impactful, meaningful, clearly outlined, and measurable.


Faculty, student organizations, and staff affiliated with Otis College of Art and Design are eligible to apply. Projects proposed by staff in the senior administration must be done in partnership with/and for the benefit of staff, faculty, and/or students. We will make awards across all campus roles and strongly encourage applications from all members of the campus community.

  1. Student applicants. Students must be affiliated with a registered student organization or have the administrative support of their academic department. A letter of recommendation from the students’ sponsor or Campus Office collaborator (e.g., faculty member or student organization advisor.) must be included as an attachment with the application.
  2. External Collaborations. If the activity would require certain partnerships to come to fruition within or beyond the campus, those partners should be identified and have signed on to the application at the time of submission. Projects that propose a partnership with community organizations and entities, such as local schools, non-profit agencies, etc., will require a letter of support from the lead contact in that external organization to be submitted with the proposal.
  3. Project/Activity Completion. Feasibility that the project can be completed in the time outlined.
  4. Budget. Budget feasibility and realistic accounting for costs.Costs or fees associated with any outside speakers must be reflected in the budget.

  5. Funding Limitations. JEDI Innovation Grants cannot be used to fund the following types of activities:

    • individual travel;
    • personnel costs (e.g., salary for a current employee and/or student worker salaries, faculty/staff stipends, etc.);
    • Subscriptions to various publications;
    • Conference fees, etc.
  6. Expenditures and Documentation. All expenses will be processed from the DEI Office budget and anyone who has funding approval will need to work with the DEI Office on processing, honorariums, speaker agreements, catering orders/receipts, or paying directly for services they have outlined in their budget.

Funding Level

Funding ranges from $500 to $1000. Grants exceeding $1000 require cost-sharing with another office, meaning another office should pick up the difference that exceeds $1000. Funds are considered one-time seed funds.

Examples include:

  • creating a books club or learning community, funding materials for this program/event.
  • creating a key resource to fill a campus need that will advance an inclusive climate and culture;
  • innovations in teaching and studio practice that aim to promote inclusion in the classroom;
  • activities that promote community-building, using an intergroup, multi-unit, or partnership approach; and
  • improving communication across differences.

Applicants must submit a completed budget. See samples below for guidance.

Submit Proposal

Sample $500 Budget Proposal

Item Description Description
Supplies Poster paper, paints, markers, supplies $150
Honorarium Honorarium for speaker $150
Marketing Printing of postcards $100
Food/refreshments Light refreshments for event $100
  TOTAL $500

Sample $1000 Budget Proposal (or more)

Item Description Cost
Books/Resources Creating inclusive critique within studio practice…Books/resources to be purchased for all participants, up to 50 people total (12.99 a book) $400
Refreshments Purchase lunch for participants $800
  TOTAL COST $1200
Cost Sharing Academic Affairs contribution $200
  Innovation Grant Total $1000

Awardee Requirements

As a condition of receiving the funds, awardees are required to assist in sharing their experience with the campus community, for example, through department newsletters, publications, websites, presentations at academic assembly or staff council, etc. Awardees are also expected to give credit and name the DEI Office and DEI Council as co-sponsors for the program/activity on any publications advertising the event including emails. Awardees must complete a standardized final report limited to 1000 words that describes:

  1. Program/Project goals and objectives: What was the need? How was the identified need addressed and how effective was the project?
  2. Project timeline
  3. Project evaluation, outcomes, and impact: Describe how the project effectiveness and its success was determined and evaluated. Testimonials, surveys, visual documentation of the event, are all examples on how to support the evaluation of the project.
  4. Final budget: Financial record to include all direct expenditures and receipts.
  5. Appendices (if applicable): Share any publications about the project through presentations, articles, press releases or other products created, such as websites, course materials or modules etc.-

Academic Year Timeline

  • Application Deadline: November 3, 2023
  • Notification of Awards: November 13, 2023
  • Project Start Date: As indicated in project timeline
  • Project End Date: June 30, 2024

Flexible Timeline Options - Micro Grants

As a part of the JEDI Innovation Fund, we offer Micro Grants that are outside of the formalized timeline for projects that may come up spontaneously and need immediate funding. Micro Grants can be applied for on a monthly basis beginning November 1, 2023 through April 1, 2024. Below is a Micro Grant Funding Schedule for those projects that are seeking to be funded outside of the academic year timeline.

Funding Level

Micro grants fund projects of $500 or less.

Micro Grant Timeline

Submissions Open Application Deadline Decisions Made Decisions Communicated
November 1, 2023 November 28, 2023 November 30, 2023 Dec. 1, 2023
December 1, 2023 December 15, 2023 December 19, 2023 January 3, 2024
January 3, 2024 January 27, 2024 January 30,2024 February 1, 2024
February 1, 2024 February 24, 2024 February 27, 2024 March 1, 2024
March 1, 2024 March 27, 2024 March 30, 2024 April 1, 2024
April 3, 2024 April 21, 2024 April 25, 2024 April 30, 2024


Review Process

All proposals will be reviewed by a team of people across campus that serve on our JEDI Innovation Fund review committee. This group will review and evalaute each proposal throughly using a rubric that is aligned with the requirements listed above. This team includes the following individuals:

  • Nick Negrete,VP, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
  • Dwayne Moser, Dean of Academic Affairs
  • Liz Soto, Student Engagement and Leadership Assistant
  • Steve McQueen, Cheif of Campus Safety and Security
  • Ron Bernard, Chair, Animation