Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs

MESA's small grants program at the University of Michigan provides funding for student organization events that promote social justice education through the lens of race/ethnicity. MESA’s small 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. Please refer to this infographic to learn more about our grants application process, and review additional criteria below.


Eligibility:

  • Be a registered student organization with the Center for Campus Involvement in the current academic year (at time of application)
  • Have an active University Fund Account through the Student Organization Account Service (SOAS) in good standing**
    • If you are not a registered student organization but believe your event/initiative is in alignment with the grant funding criteria, please reach out to Andrea Wilkerson (ahebner@umich.edu) to discuss funding opportunities! 
  • Submit a completed online application (this includes the event flyer and budget) no later than 14 days 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 
    • For example, your event should promote social justice education through the lens of race/ethnicity. This could be achieved through events that focus on dialogue, identity exploration, cultural education/awareness, cross-cultural initiatives or community building that supports positive growth and relationships within the U-M community. 
  • 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 

Budget (subject to change): 

  • $2,500 maximum per organization per semester
  • $5,000 maximum per organization per academic year

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

    • Attend a pre- and post-event meeting with MESA staff 
    • 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

    Examples of funding: 

    • Program supplies such as print materials, decorations, etc.  
    • Food including catering and delivery 
    • Space/venue reservations
    • Travel and registration for students (i.e., conferences) 

    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

    MESA staff is available to help clarify and work with you prior to submitting a proposal.  We are always happy to consult with you about your program or suggest other sources of funding. Please reach out to us at any time if you have questions at mesa.uofm@umich.edu or call us at (734) 763-9044.