Fund for Positive Engagement
Request for Proposals
Proposals due at 11:59pm PST on July 14th, 2017
Over the past two years, longstanding political and social rifts in the United States have become deeper and more overtly hostile, embittering our already polarized public life. Various groups and individuals on our campuses and in our communities have experienced identity-based threats and marginalization that have led to heightened levels of fear and anxiety within campus communities. Students whose political views differ from the majority of their peers have come to fear social ostracism. The intensification of these phenomena harms students, interferes with the achievement of higher education’s mission, and threatens the health of our democracy.
Faculty, administrators, students, and their partners are working to address a variety of challenges: balancing the right to free speech with the need to cultivate learning environments in which all students can be successful, supporting students whose safety and well being are threatened by public policy or rhetoric, responding to attacks on academic freedom, and cultivating spaces in which all students can constructively build relationships and exchange ideas with one another across differences of all kinds–including ideological differences.
The purpose of the Fund for Positive Engagement is to catalyze experimental responses to challenges arising from this new climate.
Campus Compact is committed to higher education’s public purposes and its role in building democracy. We recognize the immediate need to respond and innovate—and to connect institutions of higher education committed to repairing and preventing division and polarization. Institutions participating in this effort will contribute to the development and documentation of both preventive and solution-oriented interventions to build strong and diverse communities on and off campus.
Our goal is to provide our members with resources to enable small-scale, short-term experiments; reveal promising practices; and share what is learned from these innovation efforts across our network and beyond.