Student Racial Justice Projects

Dear Students,

The Melvin L. Oliver Racial Justice Initiative planning group would like to call your attention to a funding opportunity – the Student Racial Justice Project.

In spring 2022, the RJI committee invites student identity groups, clubs, and groups to develop and implement an event or project that will help transform Pitzer College into a more racially and socially inclusive space. Preference will be given to projects that are sponsored by two or more existing student clubs/organizations/groups.

Funding in the amount of $2000 is available per project. We anticipate funding five projects in spring 2022. Each member of the RJI committee will select a project for funding and they will work with your group to assist in the development of the project.

To apply for the Student Racial Justice Project, contact [email protected]. Please include the following in your proposal: 1) the title of your project; 3) the identity groups, student clubs sponsoring the project, including the names of students involved with the project; 3) a one-page single-spaced description of the project; 4) how the funding will enhance or make the project feasible and 5) a date(s) when the project will be carried out.

The deadline for submission will be shared at a later date.


Adrian Pantoja, Chair of the Melvin L. Oliver Racial Justice Initiative

Fely Catan, Assistant Professor of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Jessica Kizer, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Linda Lam, Director for the Center for Asian Pacific American Students

Urmi Willoughby, Assistant Professor of History

Student Initiatives

First Gen Club Statement 05/2023 PDF Download

Black Student Union Statement 2/28/2023 PDF Download

Latinx Student Union Statement 10/11/2021 PDF Download

Black Student Union Statement 9/14/2020 PDF Download

Student Letter of Demands 11/23/2015 PDF Download

Previous Student Opportunities

Manifesto: Eight-Minutes and Forty-Five Seconds (Pitzer College Art Galleries):
A collaboration between Pitzer College Art Galleries, Pitzer’s Writing Center, and President Oliver’s Pitzer-wide racial justice initiative, invites students, faculty, and staff to participate in a collective project to create manifestos. The numerical title of this project references and remembers the last brutal eight-minutes and forty-six seconds of George Floyd’s life, the Black man brutally killed by a White Minneapolis police officer on May 29, 2020. More expansively, Eight-Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds addresses not only systemic racism and police brutality, but the ingrained inequality that persists in our judicial, educational, and economic systems that institutionally subjugate Black, Indigenous, and all Peoples of Color (BIPOC), perpetuating a legacy of inequality. Yet these declarations will respond not only to critical issues of the racial, social, and gender biases of the present, but suggest new ways of reimagining the world towards a more emancipatory and equitable future. The time for speaking out is now. Whatever part of the country or world that you are inhabiting this semester, join the call and embolden your voice by creating a manifesto in response to this call for justice and equality.
For more information and to participate, please visit:


Continuing acts of racialized violence and the mobilization efforts by the Black Lives Matter movement and its allies to fight for racial justice provide an important backdrop for students, faculty, and administrators to analyze this unique moment in time. President Melvin Oliver’s Racial Justice Initiative (RJI) seeks to embed the study of racial violence and justice throughout our campus and curriculum.

To support fruitful discussion, analysis and activism, we are pleased to announce funding in support of student art, music, performance, community engagement, organizing, and thesis research that align with the RJI mission.  Students whose current/ongoing projects focus on racial justice–for example, the Black diaspora, criminalization, racial bias, anti-racism, racialized violence, policing, police violence, abolition, and social movements, among others–are encouraged to apply.  Successful applicants will receive stipends of $500 for fall 2020.

Preference will be given to proposals that clearly indicate how the work produced will be shared with, create dialog among, and/or offer opportunities for collaboration across the Pitzer community.

To apply for an RJI Student Award please fill out the funding proposal and email to: [email protected]. The deadline (to be announced).