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Sponsored by the SIPA Diversity Committee The Student Diversity Initiative 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.


For submission guidelines and to apply, please visit SIPA CampusGroups.



Grant Recipients

2019 Recipients

"Immigration, Detention, and Resistance Through Art"
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Immigration policy and mass incarceration represent today one of the main sites of human rights abuses and violations in the US. The panel brought together community-based artists and organizers, academics, immigration advocates and attorneys to discuss insights and intersections between their work and explored the ways in which community art can be mobilized as a form of resistance. The event was organized by SIPA's Concentration in Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy and the Humanitarian Affairs Working Group, RISE, SSOC, LASA, and Migration Working Group.

"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.

SIPA Story Slam
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
The SIPA Story Slam showcased our community's defining experiences through live storytelling around the theme "Lost in Translation." This event featured student and faculty storytellers performing 5-minute stories alongside music and dancing.

South Asia Association (SAA) Multi-Cultural Event
Thursday, March 28, 2019
The event gave students from outside the South Asian community the opportunity to interact with and experience the diverse cultures and perspectives from countries within the South Asian region (namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and The Maldives).

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