In 2018, Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s received a $600,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support initiatives focused on inclusive pedagogy and community building. The project is called Becoming Community, and its goal is to teach and enable CSB/SJU faculty, staff and students to become agents of change by preparing them to dismantle oppression rather than simply learning about oppression.
“This significant Mellon grant aligns with our belief that community is constitutive to who we are as Benedictine colleges and that community is an ongoing, dynamic and inclusive process that includes students, faculty, staff, our founding orders and the geographic community within which we dwell,” said Mary Dana Hinton, CSB president. “The Becoming Community grant supports our efforts toward intentionally creating community and will propel us forward as we seek to transform who we are in Becoming Community for all.”
This isn’t the colleges’ first grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In 2015, CSB and SJU each received a $100,000 grant in support of faculty formation to support liberal arts learning. Each was for planning or piloting curricular and pedagogical experiments.
This new Becoming Community project will roll out in three phases:
- Phase One: Leverage and extend the work of individual and group inclusivity development begun with the previous Mellon grants.
- Phase Two: Unearth and address the underlying assumptions about inclusion and community.
- Phase Three: Implement and disseminate the methods of transformative inclusion that the earlier processes will have revealed.