Mission and Identity Programs

Truth, Racial Healing and Reconciliation


Mission Animator Grants 2021-2022

The "service of faith." The "promotion of justice." The "quest for truth." Witnessing to the inherent links between these realities in concrete and radical ways is the summons of Jesuit higher education in the midst of unjust racial suffering. ~ Rev. Bryan Massingale

With support and inspiration from Dr. Hanycz and her 'President's Fund for Truth, Racial Healing and Reconciliation' (a generous gift from an anonymous Xavier supporter), proposals for projects and activities that address "our most enduring justice wound and challenge," RACISM, are sought. 


  • Are invited from faculty, staff, and students for projects taking place during the academic year 2021-22. The goal is to fund a variety of projects that are imaginative and engage broadly the Xavier community, especially students.
  • Are expected in the range of $300-$5000 although exceptional plans with greater financial need will be considered.

While Justice and Racial Healing is the theme, we intend for it to lead to a broad array of events and projects, such as those that:

  • Relate to racial history and reconciliation
  • Facilitate racial solidarity and right relationships
  • Address race-related injustices, such as disparities in criminal justice, education, poverty rates, healthcare services, etc.
  • Develops social change agents against institutional racism
  • Strenthens white allyship, including a recognition of privilege and cultural identity
  • Fosters XU in being a 'sanctuary of truth' and inspires the quest for truth in attendees
  • Add to regular/annual departmental/college/University events by celebrating, honoring, and/or recognizing POC

The 1-page proposal must include, with numeration the:

  1. Title
  2. 1-2 sentence abstract
  3. Project description
  4. Detailed, accurate budget
  5. Budget number and the name of the budget administrator should the proposal be funded
  6. If a student proposal - the name of the responsible faculty or staff supervisor

Proposals should be sent to Aleshia Zoogah (zoogaha@xavier.edu) with "Racial Healing" in the subject line.

Applications will reopen in Fall 2022 and will be reviewed by the committee on a rolling basis beginning in October 2022.

Questions can be directed to Ivy K. Banks, M.Ed., J.D.(banksi@xavier.edu), Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

See the Racial Justice and Reconciliation resource page.



Invigorating Africana Studies
David Mengel, PhD
This project supports the relaunch of the Africana Studies minor as an academic manifestation of Xavier’s commitment to anti-Black racism and to addressing the legacies of slavery.

Story Telling for Racial Healing
Carolyn Moore and Norman Townsel
This event will create a sanctuary of truth. Racial healing requires everyone to check their own perceptions and find the humanness in the perceptions of others.

Promoting Mentorship for Students of Color within Clinical Psychology
Jennifer E. Phillips, PhD
Graduate students of color in clinical psychology will benefit both academically and personally from supportive mentoring relationships with practicing psychologists, through the Ohio Psychological Association, who understand their diverse life experiences.

Contextualizing Xavier’s Historic Relationship to American Racism
Christine Anderson PhD
This project is comprised of four Zoom roundtables on instances when Xavier University’s historical context confronted the institutional community with questions about enslavement and/or racism. Consisting of a 30-minute presentation by a scholar activist followed by a moderated discussion, each roundtable will ask participants to consider how understanding the past might help us recognize racism and act to oppose it.

A national conference on "the Black-White Wealth Gap and Homeownership" What can be done?"
Rashmi Assundani, Liz Blume, James Buchanan, Sean Comer, and Sean Rhiney
Featuring national and local speakers, this conference addresses the problem of Black homeownership both nationally and locally, in particular wealth and ownership gaps.

Black Girl, White Girl, Car - -30 years in the making
Professor Blis DeVault
Michelle Davis and Blis DeVault met in film school early in the 90’s, they became roommates, and have been close friends for 30 years. As young filmmakers they questioned many societal standards, talked about finding the right guy, marriage, children, dreamt about their children becoming friends and contemplated their future careers. They talked and are still talking about race, class, spirituality, making it through tough times celebrating the successes and possibly sharing a glass of wine or two.

Amplifying Black Voices in Classical Music 
Ben Chamberlain, DMA
In the context of a Classical music canon that has predominantly featured music by white men, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble is positioned to facilitate the creation and presentation of music by Black composers. This project will empower our ensemble, made up of Xavier students from all majors across campus, to engage with Black artists and amplify their musical voices. 

Stained Glass Initiative Assistant
Kyra T. Shahid PhD
The SGI Assistant will assist with the implementation and advancement of the Stained Glass Initiative. This assistant will support the Diasporic Soul racial healing and leadership development experience, the renaming project for Bishop Fenwick Place, and the coordination and assessment of related collaborations for racial healing initiatives. 

Diasporic Soul Experience
Michael Graham SJ
This racial healing and leadership development experience provides Xavier students a healing-centered leadership development experience to deepen their ability to be self-aware, loving, inter-culturally competent leaders who practice self-care and recognize their capacity for healing, restoration, resilience and resistance so that they are able to collaborate with others in order to create change and pursue healing justice. 

Everyday Attributes of Social Justice Allies and Leaders
Debra Mooney PhD
This project created a hard-copy resource on 11 attributes for multi-cultural and multi-identity (intersectionality) awareness and understanding; the attributes are adapted from the Multicultural Guidelines of the American Psychological Association.  The 1-page photo-heavy, easy-to-read list identifies foundational ways all people can effectively act as justice-minded allies, leaders and advocates at Xavier and across the Jesuit network.

Advancing Anti-Racist Social Work Education and Practice through an Exploration of the Profession’s History of Racial Injustice and Anti-Racist Practices  
Shelagh Larkin MSW/LISW
The purpose of this project is twofold. First, to research the history of racial injustice and efforts to combat that history in the social work profession. Second, to engage social work faculty, students, alumni, practitioners, and agencies to use this history to advance anti-racists social work education and agency practices. 

Black Lives Matter Teach-In
Kristen Renzi, PhD
Held on Sept 7, this event facilitated dialogue, in a hybrid format, around combating anti-Black racism and gave attendees actionable steps on how to effect change in their local communities.

Cross-Racial Dialogue
Audrey Calloway, Tom Strunk PhD, Tracey DuEst 
This is a twofold project. The first is a Cross-Racial Intergroup Dialogue that will bring together a diverse group of faculty and staff to meet for about 6 weeks throughout the Spring 2021 semester.  The second program will focus on reading and discussion of Latasha Morrison’s Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation.

Engaging Community Voices: Seeking Racial Reconciliation in Cincinnati
Sean Rhiney
Leveraging black, brown, and white community voices, the Engaging Community Voices Canvas Module will connect Xavier students with Cincinnati’s historical relationship with race, and explore opportunities to reconcile these issues through contemporary efforts. 

Juan Suárez Ontaneda, PhD
Using the archival resources that document Latinx presence at Xavier, the purpose of this project is to map the Latinx presence on campus and to connect that presence to the city of Cincinnati. The end goal of the project is a website
(“LatinXavier”) that will serve as a repository of XU Latinx presence at XU and as a resource for the Latinx community that lives in the region.

Student Success Center Diversity & Inclusion Interns
Whitney Menser & Dr Jim Snodgrass  
The Student Success Center recognizes the personal and academic challenges that underrepresented minority students face at Xavier University due to racism, prejudice, and systemic barriers. In order to begin to improve the experiences of these students, the Student Success Center will hire two students as the Student Success Diversity & Inclusion Interns.

Hearing Every Perspective – Advancing Racial Healing By Preparing Aspiring Teachers Through Student / Community Dialogue  
Hollie Johnson   
In collaboration with Norwood leader Pastor Sonny James, and Xavier Secondary Education staff and students, this project provides concrete activities through dialogue that advance the racial healing and reconciliation of Xavier’s neighbor, Norwood, while critically enhancing the preparedness of students to become effective teachers in diverse urban schools.

CIE: Passport to the World Initiative
Leann Scherbauer & Lea Minniti   
An initial hurdle/barrier to study abroad for students of color is the basic step of applying for a passport. The goal of this project is to award passport application fee waivers to up to 10 students in the 2020-21 academic year.

Black Empowerment Experience
Dr Kyra Shahid 
The Black Empowerment Experience at Bi-Okoto Cultural Arts Center seeks to provide community, healing, and exposure to knowledge of self. Students will benefit from interacting with their peers that identify as they do and will partake in numerous workshops that promote self-care and wellness.

Supporting Faculty Dialogue on Racism
Marco Fatuzzo, PhD
This 3-hour virtual training experience will acquaint 80 participants with a set of tools to engage, sustain and deepen dialogues about race. Co-sponsored with the Office of the Provost/CAO.


For the history of Xavier's Mission Animators - read the article in the AJCU's Connections