Anti-Racism Grantmaking Program (ARGP)

As part of its ongoing efforts to advance racial justice in the Columbia community and beyond, the Law School has created Anti-Racism Grantmaking Program (ARGP) in recognition of the continuing need to combat structural racism in our society and of the unique role that law and legal institutions can play in accelerating this change. The goal of the ARGP is to provide both financial and non-financial assistance to members of the Law School community for projects that will help dismantle racially subordinating policies, structures, or systems or otherwise help promote racial equity and inclusion.

Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year are now open and are due by January 28, 2022.

Recipients for 2020-2021 grants are below. 

Global Movements for Black Lives: Deepening CLS’s Engagement With Activism, Justice, and Law on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Project Leaders: Udodilim Njideka Nnamdi ’21; Anjli Parrin ’17, Associate Director, Project on War Crimes and Mass Graves, Human Rights Institute; Lauren Richardson ’23; and Nancy Stephen ’22

About the Project: The project will advance racial justice by deepening opportunities for members of the Columbia Law community to learn about, engage with, and advance global movements for Black lives. The project will support the development of a reading group on global racial justice issues, advance efforts to increase diversity at Columbia Law, and increase experiential and practical opportunities for Law School students to work in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Black Men’s Initiative @ CLS

Project Leaders: Damonta Morgan ’22 and Paul Riley ’22 

About the Project: The Black Men’s Initiative @ CLS ([email protected]) cultivates an intentional community among Black men who are, or have studied, at Columbia Law School through platforms such as a website, mentorship program, and events.

Law School Pathways Program

Project Leaders: Iris Carbonel ’22, Stephanie Nnadi ’22, and Stacy Okoro ’22

About the Project: The Columbia Law School Pathways Program aids first-generation, low-income, and minority students from the Harlem/Bronx/Uptown area who are considering attending law school. The mission of the program is to foster ties between Columbia and its surrounding communities, increase true diversity and representation within the legal profession, and uplift traditionally forgotten groups.

Columbia Law School and the Legacies of Slavery

Project Leaders: Katherine Franke, James L. Dohr Professor of Law; Black Law Students Association; and Empowering Women of Color

About the Project: Professor Franke is leading a research team at Columbia University documenting the relationship of Law School to slavery and its contemporary legacies. This project will examine questions such as: What relationship did our founding faculty, students, curriculum, and financing bear to slavery? And what have been the enduring legacies of anti-Black racism at the Law School?

Lawyering and the Quest for a Multiracial Democracy

Project Leaders: Marica Wright ’22; Olatunde Johnson, Jerome B. Sherman Professor of Law; and Sneha Pandya ’21 

About the Project: As part of the project, the team will produce a six-episode podcast, designed to address the question of how members of the legal profession can help build and maintain a multiracial democracy, and they will develop an evergreen website of resources.

Terms of the grants. Up to five grants will be awarded for the 2021-22 academic year. Total project budgets may range in size from a few thousand dollars up to $15,000. Grantees may use their awards to pay for student stipends, project expenses, or both. Grantees will also be given opportunities to engage with the Law School community about their work and its impact.

  • Eligibility. Grants are available to support projects conducted by current Columbia Law School students, faculty, and staff. Applications may be submitted by individuals, groups of individuals, or CLS organizations. Strong preference will be given to applications that include student participation and provide mentorship to, or capacity-building opportunities for, students.

  • Proposal requirements. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to combating racial injustice and present a proposal that clearly states the goal(s), projected milestones, intended deliverable(s), and budget for the project. Applicants must also demonstrate that grants will support new racial justice work, although this work may be developed as part of a preexisting program. Absent good cause, grants may not be used for general operating expenses for pre-existing programs.

  • Student stipends. Applicants may apply for funding to cover stipends for students, in addition to other costs of implementing their projects. Stipends may be up to $3,000 per student and total stipend payments may not exceed $9,000 within a single project. (Project expenses will be funded separately.) A student may not receive both course credit or research assistant credit and stipend support simultaneously for the same project work.

  • Support. In addition to (a) student stipends and (b) reasonable expenses and costs, other available ARGP support can include: (c) assistance in connecting with scholars, advocates, administrators, or racial justice experts to help advise on the project; (d) periodic check-ins for assistance from the grant administrator; (e) community- building opportunities with other grantees; and (f) opportunities to educate the Columbia community about the project.

Applications will be due by January 28, 2022. Please submit the application and supporting documents as one PDF to [email protected].  Successful applications will be announced by the end of February 2022 and will be funded for 4- to 12-month terms. Grantees must submit a progress report at the midpoint of their grant and a final report at the conclusion of the project. 

For questions, please contact Robert Ford, Executive Director of Student Services, Community Engagement, and Equity ([email protected]).

Download the 2021-2022 Program Application

A committee consisting of Law School faculty, administrators, and others will select the ARGP grantees. Selection committee members are not eligible to apply and must recuse themselves in cases involving projects with which they are personally associated. Successful applicants should be prepared to start their projects upon announcement of awards in February 2022; funds will be disbursed no later than four weeks following the announcement.

Rosemary Dodemaide, Financial Analyst, Columbia Law School
Robert Ford, Director of Student Services, Columbia Law School
Peter Harvey, Partner, Patterson Belknap
Andrea McChristian, Law & Policy Director, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ)
Nadine F. Mompremier, Assistant Director of Pro Bono and Summer Programs, Columbia Law School
Lynnise E. Pantin, Clinical Professor of Law, Founding Director of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, Columbia Law School
Dennis D. Parker, Executive Director, National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ) 
David Pozen, Chair of the Columbia Law School Anti-Racist Steering Committee, Vice Dean for Intellectual Life, Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
Erica Smock, Assistant Dean and Dean for Social Justice Initiatives & Public Service Lawyering, Columbia Law School
Liliana Zaragoza, Assistant Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF).

For questions, please contact

Robert Ford

Executive Director of Student Services, Community Engagement, and Equity