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APA receives Mellon Foundation grant to support undergraduate diversity institutes

Students from currently underrepresented groups in philosophy to benefit from grant.
by khepler Jul 16, 2015

Reprinted from the American Philosophical Association.

The American Philosophical Association (APA) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a major grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant will provide $600,000 over three years to support undergraduate diversity institutes in philosophy, including the expansion of the Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institute (PIKSI) program and the development of infrastructure to support it and other undergraduate diversity institutes.

PIKSI was founded to encourage students from groups currently underrepresented in philosophy—people of color, LGBT people, women, people with disabilities, and people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds—to pursue advanced studies in philosophy and continue on to the professoriate. Through this grant, the APA will provide funding to increase the length and number of participants in the PIKSI program at Pennsylvania State University’s Rock Ethics Institute, now in its tenth year, and to found a second PIKSI program based in Boston, which will also be supported by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Massachusetts Boston.

In addition, the grant will allow the APA to provide infrastructure to support these and other undergraduate diversity institutes through networking and professional development opportunities, outreach and advertising, and data gathering efforts.

Of the grant, APA Executive Director Amy Ferrer said, “The APA is grateful to the Mellon Foundation for their generosity and for supporting the APA’s commitment to addressing philosophy’s lack of demographic diversity. We look forward to continuing to work with PIKSI, as we have over the last decade, and with other undergraduate diversity institutes on efforts to plug the leaky pipeline in philosophy and ensure the strength and diversity of the field for the future.”

Eva Feder Kittay (Stony Brook University), chair of the board of PIKSI at Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute, said, “The joint efforts of dedicated APA members, along with the financial support of the APA and Penn State, have produced a summer program whose merit has just been recognized and rewarded by this APA-sponsored Mellon Foundation grant.  We thank the Mellon Foundation for its generosity, which will allow us to continue the work and expand PIKSI’s influence.”

Sally Haslanger (MIT), co-founder of PIKSI in Boston, said, “The lack of diversity in philosophy is in striking contrast to other humanities and social science disciplines. The Mellon Foundation's generous funding is much needed and will make a huge difference in supporting a wide range of efforts to bring about lasting change in the field.”