The Black Laurentian Initiative Fund for Racial Justice and Equity Project (RJEP)

The Black Laurentian Initiative Fund for Racial Justice and Equity Project (RJEP) is a $100,000 fund from the President’s Office that supports work that engages the St. Lawrence community in research, teaching, and service-focused missions dedicated to addressing the issues of racial injustice in all its forms across various academic disciplines. This fund supports eligible student projects of up to $5,000 for Summer 2024. 

Students who are taking classes during Fall 2024 are eligible to apply for funding for Spring projects. To apply, students must complete these components: a proposal essay, budget, positionality statement, and a plan for formally presenting your results to the BLI and to the broader community when they return to campus in the Fall semester. A letter of support from project mentor is also required; applicants are strongly advised to begin discussing your project with your mentors well in advance of the submission deadline, and mentors are urged to indicate that you have discussed plans for your project with them in detail.

Deadline: March 11, 2024, 11:59 PM

Information sessions with selection committee members:

Wed., Feb. 21, 4 - 4.45 PM, Hannon Room, Student Center

Tues., March 5, 4 - 4.45 PM, Monaco Room, Student Center

Proposal essay

Students, with guidance from a faculty mentor, are eligible to receive up to $5000 to support projects for Summer 2024 (e.g., research, internships, or creative projects). Submit a written essay of up to 500 words (approx. 1 page) that includes: 

  • Project goals and objectives 
  • How your project will contribute to greater understanding of racial justice and equity, including racism, systemic racism and racial injustice, for yourself and for the SLU community  
  • Activities you propose to undertake 
  • Expected project outcomes 
  • Plan for working with your faculty mentor (indicate that you have had conversations with your mentor well in advance of submitting essay) 

Mentor's letter of support must be submitted separately by project deadline.

Budget: You must also submit a project budget (up to 1 page) that outlines project costs of up to $5000. Examples of eligible costs include:

  • Project materials/supplies 
  • Costs of housing/food (if travel away from campus is necessary)
  • Stipend representing time spent on the project
  • Transportation 
  • Other necessary expenses

Positionality Statement: Students must provide a written positionality statement of up to 200 words as context for your proposed project. A positionality statement usually includes a description of the project leader’s lenses (e.g., philosophical, personal, theoretical beliefs and perspective through which they view the research process) and potential influences on the research/proposed project (e.g., age, political beliefs, social class, race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs).

Plan for presentation: A formal presentation of projects and results to the BLI and the greater SLU community is required of all grant recipients. Recipients are asked to demonstrate how their project contributes to a deepening understanding of racial injustice and equity issues. Submit a brief description (about a paragraph) of your plan for this presentation.

Submit applications via this form:

As you submit your application, you will enter the email address of your mentor who will then receive a link for sending their recommendation. Please be sure that you have the correct email address of your mentor. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the deadline for the next submission cycle? 

The deadline for Summer 2024 projects is March 11th. 

2. Where do I go if I have questions about the process or the proposal? 

Feel free to contact Julissa Antonio, President of BLI, or Kimberly Flint-Hamilton, Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion. 

You can also feel free to email any member of the committee: 

  • Julissa Antonio, BLI President ( 
  • Kimberly Flint-Hamilton, Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion ( 
  • Carol Smith, Grants Senior Officer ( 
  • Precious Hall, Assistant Professor of Government ( 

3. How do I submit my proposal? 

Proposals should be submitted electronically via using this link: 

4. What is the role of the mentor in the project? 

Although the project is the student’s idea, the student must have conversations with their mentor as they write their proposal. It is important that the mentor be able to indicate, in their letter of support to the grant committee, that the project is feasible, that the student has the skill and experience necessary to complete the project, and that the mentor also has the expertise to mentor the student in the project that is being proposed.  

5. Do I have to get Institutional Review Board Approval?  

Federal law requires that, under certain circumstances, research involving human subjects must be approved by institutional review boards (IRBs). Work with your mentor and the chair of St. Lawrence’s IRB committee to determine if your project requires approval. If it does, you will have to submit a proposal to the IRB committee for approval, and you will have to complete an online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) course.