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Sponsored by the SIPA Diversity Committee The Student Diversity Initiative is a program that supports students in the development of a project or event that will advance diversity and inclusion at SIPA.



The SIPA Diversity Committee invites grant proposals that advance diversity, inclusion, social justice, and equity in light of the SIPA Diversity Committee’s mission in one or more of the following areas:

  • Representation: Enhance the recruitment, retention, and support of students, faculty, and staff from diverse and historically under-represented backgrounds.
  • Community-Building: Create opportunities for community-building; foster an inclusive climate respectful of diversity and increased cross-cultural understanding, and enhance collaboration among diverse groups at SIPA and across the Columbia campus.
  • Network: Build a sustainable network among students, faculty, administration, alumni, and policy practitioners to work together to further the Diversity Committee’s mission.
  • Discourse: Provide forums for robust, academic discourse and dialogue at SIPA and the greater public policy community surrounding issues of diversity and inclusion (including the integration of local/global diversity), social justice, and equity in the fields of international affairs and public policy.
  • Education: Provide opportunities for enhanced learning, discourse, and research, both inside and outside of the classroom, that challenge students think critically about concepts related to the intersectionality of identity, social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and to consider their implications on policy and international affairs.
  • Policy Formulation and Practice: Create innovative ideas and share best practices around diversity and inclusion, equity, and social justice as they relate to professional practice.
  • Outreach and Advocacy: Develop activities and strategies for outreach and advocacy that engage students, faculty, staff, and alumni with the greater community in support of SIPA’s mission of advancing social justice and addressing structural inequality, including increased support for historically and socially marginalized communities.



    All SIPA students (and student organizations) are eligible to apply for the grant. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

    Submission guidelines:

    • All student-initiated proposals must be sponsored by an academic department or administrative office for funding purposes. (OSA can serve this purpose for student organizations). 
    • The application must be complete, including all required attachments
    • The application must specify exactly how the proposed program, event, or initiative will meet the objectives stated above and the mission of the Diversity Committee
    • The event, program or initiative must be free and open to all SIPA students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
    • The application must be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to event or program.
    • The application must include a budget that details how the grant will be spent.
    • Following the conclusion of the initiative, organizers must submit a report to the Diversity Committee discussing the outcomes of the project, including whether it was successful in meeting the goals initially laid out in the proposal and a final breakdown of the budget. Groups may be invited to discuss the initiative at future Diversity Committee meetings or events.
    • Students must include a letter of sponsorship from a faculty or administrative member of a sponsoring department.


    For details or to apply click here.

    Current Student Initiative Grants

    "Come Learn about Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color" - Performance and talk by Alok Vaid-Menon
    Wednesday, April 24, 2019
    The event was organized by SIPA's Spectrum. Co-sponsored by GPP, GPWG, RISE, and the SIPA Diversity Committee.

    2018 Recipients

    SIPA Intersectionality Conference
    Friday, April 20, 2018
    The first annual SIPA Intersectionality Conference organized by SIPA Students of Color (SSOC) was held on April 20. The Conference examined the intersectional role of identities in social, economic, and political inequities in the U.S. with the keynote given by Melissa Mark-Viverito, senior advisor to the Latino Victory Fund and former speaker of the NYC Council. Co-Sponsored by the SIPA Diversity Coalition and SIPA Diversity Committee

    Interactive Electoral Workshop
    Monday, April 16, 2018
    The workshop was facilitated by policy experts from the Brennan for Justice and SIPA faculty members, Prof Fuchs and Prof Shapiro, with the goal of addressing low voter turnout in U.S. elections. Co-Sponsored by Citizen American Voter and the SIPA Diversity Committee