Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs

MESA’s large grants program at the University of Michigan provides funding for student organization events that are large in scope, scale, and impact on the campus community and promotes social justice education through the lens of race/ethnicity. Events sponsored through MESA’s large grant program are events that enhance the visibility and celebration of all groups, particularly those that have been underrepresented in higher education, to foster a welcoming and thriving environment during their time at University of Michigan. MESA’s large grants program is committed to U-M’s DEI plan and MESA’s mission of transforming the student experience, particularly through the lens of race and ethnicity, and offer an opportunity for students to engage in learning beyond the classroom experience through program design, planning, coordinating, implementing, evaluating, reflecting, and creating positive impacts for the community. 


  • Be a registered student organization with the Center for Campus Involvement in the current academic year (at the time of application) 
  • Submit a completed online application (this includes the event flyer and budget) no later than 6 weeks prior to the date of your event (the earlier the better!) 

Criteria/Requirements for Funding: 

  • Application must clearly articulate its connection to advancing MESA’s mission to supporting students; enhancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work; and fostering an inclusive community.
    • Events that focus on community development, identity exploration, addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion will be prioritized for funding. 
  • Application must demonstrate a strong educational component that is aimed at educating the broader community about a particular subject 
  • Event must be open to the entire University community with an emphasis on providing programming for participants or an audience comprised of currently enrolled U-M students 
  • Event location must be at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Budget (subject to change):

  • Event budget is at least $5,000, and your student organization is requesting a funding amount of over $2,500.

Process: Our grants application is an interactive process. Applicants are required to: 

  • At least 4 meetings with MESA staff (there may be more depending on the event planning process) 
  • Submit an impact report after the event 
  • Provide feedback on the grants process 
  • Attend an end-of-the-semester Grants Celebration in the semester in which the event occurred. 
    • Fall 2019: Monday, Dec. 9th, 2019 from 6:30-8:00pm

Funding will not be given to:  

  • Events that do not comply with the law 
  • Events where alcohol is present 
  • Events that have already occurred or are not happening during the current academic year 
  • Events where the primary audience is non-University students 
  • Events submitted solely by student fee-generated groups, such as the Michigan Student Assembly, Residence Hall Councils, and school/college student governments. Proposals submitted in conjunction with Voluntary Student Organizations may be considered. 
  • Events promoting a political agenda 
  • Events/Programs for academic credit or class projects 
  • Events that judge individuals on physical appearance or talent 
  • Religious services; note that educational programs centered on religion and spirituality are permitted 
  • Any “break” trips (including but not limited to spring break, alternative break, winter break, etc.) 
  • Funds cannot be used to directly benefit charity or fundraising efforts
  • Pre-Collegiate programs, including but limited to recruitment and mentorship of minors 
  • Programs where the primary engagement method is through fashion and/or fashion shows. We welcome you to talk with our office about eligibility, prior to filling out an application, if you feel your program does meet our mission of social justice education 
  • Speaker fees or gifts for speakers are not eligible