HomeAsian AmericansUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa awarded $1.25 million grant

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa awarded $1.25 million grant

The Mellon Foundation has gifted the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa $1.25 million. Its College of Arts, Languages and Letters will use the gift to promote the study of Asian American and Pacific Islander environmental humanities and justice.

The university will also use the funding to answer major environmental justice questions across Hawaiʻi, the U.S., Asia and Oceania, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Arts, Languages and Letters reported. 

This “cutting-edge interdisciplinary initiative” will create two new faculty positions, a humanities lab and a collaborative forum for professional development, the University of Hawaiʻi reported. 

“UH-Mānoa will be one of the first universities in the country with this kind of AAPI-based environmental humanities initiative,” said Cathryn Clayton, professor and chair of the Department of Asian Studies, to the University of Hawaiʻi. “We hope to spark new conversations, at the local, national and international level, about the intersections of environmental and social justice from AAPI perspectives. We also hope to provide an institutional platform that can help amplify the voices that are already out there in the community doing this vital work.”

The grant is a part of the Mellon Foundation’s goal to provide more than $18 million to 95 public college and university programs. 

The foundation hopes to expand the study of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, which aligns with its new ‘Affirming Multivocal Humanities’ initiative, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Arts, Languages and Letters reported. 

“The study of race, gender, and sexuality has become ever more central to work in the humanities over the last thirty years or so, and it is important that inquiry in these areas—which is of perennial interest to students—continues to enjoy robust support,” said Mellon Foundation Director of Higher Learning Phillip Brian Harper to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Arts, Languages and Letters.

The foundation’s funding will support undergraduate research projects, campus guest speaker series and other organizations and programs focused on the arts, culture, and humanities. 

“We are proud to support colleges and universities in the United States that are advancing deep research and curricular engagement with the stories and histories of our country’s vast diversity and the modes of inquiry that race, gender, and ethnic studies explore and expand,” said Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Arts, Languages and Letters

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