Special grant program offers $30,000 to support equity, diversity and inclusion projects

Students and staff in La Crosse schools will get an opportunity to engage in projects that promote equity, diversity and inclusion through a special grant program announced Aug. 5 by the La Crosse Public Education Foundation (LPEF).

LPEF provided a $4,149 grant to help support the 2018 Legacy Keepers Trip allowing black, biracial and multiracial students to travel to civil rights sites and visit historically black colleges.

With support from two community partners, LPEF is making $30,000 available for grants in response to community and nationwide concern for systemic racism, racial injustice and other inequities in K-12 schools. In addition to funding from LPEF, grant support is being provided by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and Mayo Clinic Health System.

“We know that teachers, staff and leaders of La Crosse schools are deeply committed to addressing inequities in schools,” said Rochelle Nicks, LPEF Board President and Director of Mission Advancement for the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. “LPEF is glad to offer this funding to support their efforts.”

Over the past three years, LPEF has awarded almost $54,000 in grants to advance equity efforts, reflecting a high level of interest and effort by staff in the La Crosse public schools.

While La Crosse schools are opening Sept. 1 with virtual instruction due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, LPEF will expedite consideration of requests related to equity, diversity and inclusion, including projects to:

  • Purchase materials to supplement or enhance curriculum.
  • Advance antiracism and ensure all students/staff feel safe, welcome and included in school.
  • Center voices of color.
  • Combat racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, and all other systems of inequality and privilege.

Applications will be due Sept. 15, with grants awarded in early October. That means funding will be available about three months earlier than the usual LPEF grant award schedule for the school year.

Applicants also may apply for these types of projects during the regular cycles for Gold Star Grants. Regular deadlines for the 2020-21 school year are: Oct. 26, 2020, and Feb. 22, 2021.

For other questions, please contact LPEF Executive Director David Stoeffler at (608) 787-0226 or by email at:  david@lacrosseeducationfoundation.org