We are excited to announce that Boston University Academy has been awarded a competitive matching grant from The Edward E. Ford Foundation to support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at BUA.
Making progress on creating a more diverse community and a more welcoming and supportive environment for underrepresented minority students is critical to BUA’s success as a school and as a unit of Boston University. This prestigious grant from the E. E. Ford Foundation will enable Boston University Academy to take important and meaningful strides towards realizing our objectives in this area.
As a high school within an urban research university, BUA is uniquely positioned to serve underrepresented and low-income students. Increasing racial and socioeconomic diversity in our student body and promoting cultural competency amongst our faculty and staff will benefit all students, help advance Boston University’s diversity strategic priority, and increase BUA’s quality and impact. We aim to more fully live our core value of Inclusion, which states: “A vibrant community comprises learners of diverse backgrounds and interests. We strive for equitable access to resources and opportunities within that community.”
The E. E. Ford Foundation grant will enable BUA to develop and sustain a more diverse, equitable, inclusive school community by:
- Increasing access to Boston University Academy for underrepresented minority students from the Greater Boston area through expanded financial support for high-need families including providing lunch grants and grants for incidental expenses; funding tutoring and summer courses; and offering increased financial aid award packages;
- Enhancing support of underrepresented minority students through an inclusive school culture by providing anti-bias and cultural competency training to students, faculty, and staff;
- Leveraging strategic partnerships in the Greater Boston area and our relationship with BU to provide underrepresented and low-income students greater access to selective institutions of higher learning, including guaranteed admission to Boston University for students in good standing;
- Building financial sustainability and capacity for these initiatives to continue beyond the grant’s implementation period.
Under the auspices of this grant, BUA has already completed several trainings that helped faculty and staff recognize, unpack, and address their own unconscious biases, and provided skills to address issues of identity in the classroom. In September and November, we hosted Erica Pernell, dean of diversity at the Noble and Greenough School, who led sessions on implicit bias, strategies to reduce bias, and best practices for culturally competent advising and admissions. During our Faculty In-Service Day on January 17, Liza Talusan, an independent consultant, facilitated a workshop on developing strategies for talking about race, gender, sexual orientation, class, and socioeconomic status in the classroom. Drawing on funds from the grant, we have also supported 24 current BUA families with a total of $48,000 in funding for lunch grants; 56 families with $26,000 for incidentals costs including tickets to Prom and other extracurricular activities; and five families with $9,110 to help defray the cost of the spring international trip
The E. E. Ford grant model is a two-to-one match for a total of $300,000. BUA must raise $200,000 from a combination of philanthropic support from individuals, corporations, and foundations. The E. E. Ford Foundation will then provide a grant of $100,000. Fundraising for the matching grant must be completed by July 31, 2019.
Boston University has demonstrated its commitment to BUA’s diversity strategic priority by pledging a lead gift of $100,000 toward our $200,000 fundraising goal. BUA has already raised just over half of the remaining $100,000 – we are grateful to those who have made a gift in direct support of this match.
This year, all increased gifts to the Annual Fund may be counted toward the E. E. Ford Foundation match. To make a gift to the 2018-2019 Annual Fund, or to increase your gift if you’ve already given this year, please click here. If you are interested in contributing directly to the diversity and inclusion fund, please contact Assistant Director of Institutional Advancement Margo Cox.