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New WVU racial justice grants support community initiatives

composite of two women, one man on blue background

Linda Alexander, Amy Alvarez and Dan McNeil offer insights into racial justice projects funded by grants from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. (WVU Photo)

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Two projects have received funding from racial justice grants awarded by the West Virginia University Eberly College of Arts and Sciences: one focused on poetry and creative writing workshops and the second on studying racial disparities in vaccination rates. The grants support research for social justice initiatives that will engage with the community. The faculty leading these projects hail from both the Eberly College and the WVU School of Public Health.  

Quotes and comments

Audio file: "I believe this work matters..."

“I believe that this work matters in the current climate of our nation given that Black and Brown women’s lives are often not at the forefront of discussions of racial inequality in the United States. Through this act of creative generation, I hope to enrich this conversation. look forward to building more bridges with teachers locally, regionally and nationally and working with high school students as this is such an important time for young people to find and define their voices.” – Amy Alvarez, Assistant Professor of English, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Audio file: "There is an intersection at this point..."

“There is an intersection at this point in history of two events that have changed our lives and likely will continue to dominate them for some time to come: the COVID-19 pandemic and the reawakening and growing awareness of racial injustice in our society. As a psychological scientist, I want to work with my colleagues across disciplines to contribute by bringing a scientific approach to evoking societal change in terms of racial equity, specifically in terms of vaccines. This presents an opportunity for what could be a potentially life-saving change for people of color – providing information about a COVID-19 vaccine, giving authentic access to it and increasing immunization rates beyond what has been possible in the past.” – Dan McNeil, Eberly Distinguished Professor of Public Service and Professor of Psychology, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Audio file: "Racial justice begins with the healing..."

“Racial justice begins with the healing of a community. When Dr. McNeil and I began our Center for Oral Health Research in Appalachia Smile project with the African American community four years ago, we sought to improve the oral health of women and children. Through the recognition and support of the Eberly College funds, we are poised to make a difference toward our understanding of vaccine awareness and utilization with a population that suffered historically from institutional racism and barriers in the availability of and access to potentially lifesaving medication.” – Linda Alexander, Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Public Health, School of Public Health    


Eberly College announces racial justice grant recipients

Target Audiences

  • People of color in Appalachia
  • Secondary school teachers and students
  • Public health officials
  • Government leaders




CONTACT: Katlin Swisher
Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

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