Confronting Extremism through Community, Thriving and Wellness

Confronting Extremism through Community, Thriving and Wellness


Reflections during the COVID-19 crisis and impacts of the pandemic underscore the fact that diversity, equity and inclusion efforts lost ground as the country addressed more obvious life-and-death issues associated with the pandemic. The initiative for "Confronting Extremism through Community, Thriving and Wellness" encourages student resource directors and Senate faculty to pilot or build further synergy through evidence-based strategies in ways that rebuild, reframe and transform our members, institutions and communities for inclusive excellence.

This funding opportunity is as part of the Confronting Extremism Program and the call closed July 8, 2022.

Call for Proposals (closed on July 8, 2022)

Office of Inclusive Excellence Confronting Extremism Program Call for Senate Faculty and Student Resource Center Proposals: Confronting Extremism through Community, Thriving and Wellness

The Confronting Extremism Program in the Office of Inclusive Excellence solicits proposals to develop measurable change in communities and climates while confronting extremist ideologies, actions and histories. As a campus, we seek to create a community where all expect equity, support diversity, practice inclusion, and honor free speech. Submissions to this Call for Proposals  for Confronting Extremism through Community, Thriving and Wellness closed on July 8, 2022.


Impetus for this Call for Proposals

Even as we understand that COVID-19 was an unusual occurrence, reflections during the crisis and currently underscore the fact that diversity, equity and inclusion efforts lost ground as the country addressed more obvious life-and-death issues associated with the pandemic. Reports from the Orange County Human Relations Commission chronicle a 35% increase in hate crimes and a 119% increase in hate incidents during 2020 ( National outlets tracked a similar disturbing uptick in power-based violence, and bomb threats and other attacks against houses of worship during the same time period. Steady streaming of misinformation take on new meaning when voting rights, vaccine immunity, and inequitable health access and outcomes by race, ethnicity, national origin and other identifying factors hang in the balance.

The past funding calls from the Confronting Extremism Program started engines for change and drew upon evidence to enhance understanding and awareness about the nature of extremism impacting US communities. The eight projects funded under the first call examined the denial of common humanity, the denial of science, and enhancements to general education offerings on these issues. Funded projects engaged undergraduates and professional students in questioning cultural assumptions via curriculum and digital tools, researched anti-vaccine movements and other anti-science ideologies, and offered public programming to counter political, social and other misinformation.

More recent calls respectively for Advancing Equity in the Age of COVID-19 (awarded in 2020) and for Building Community to Confront Extremism (awarded in 2021) addressed specific issues raised during the current pandemic. A total of 19 Advancing Equity awards and 11 Building Community awards brought community members together and challenged them to identify and enact change to address a range of issues from educational access and health equity to violence and incarceration. Projects included crowd sourcing creative solutions to extremism and programming via social media, and action research to correct and preserve cultural heritages, and train for addressing implicit biases and the deleterious effects of targeted extremism.

Goals of the Current Call for Proposals

The call requested proposals from UCI student resource directors and Senate faculty no later than July 8 (extended deadline) to pilot or build further synergy through evidence-based strategies in ways that rebuild, reframe and transform our members, institutions and communities for inclusive excellence.

We benefit from multiple perspectives about the status of cultural identities and impacts from COVID-19 against a backdrop of increased extremism. These sources include podcasts, such as The PEW Charitable Trusts’ After the Fact Conversations on COVID-19, National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine reports about isolation and mental health effects, research such as Don Albrecht’s study about vaccine hesitancy across ideological lines (2022), consensus research on the status of women, University of California data about increased student food insecurity, mental and financial hardships, and external tracking of increased hate crimes. Clearly, the current pandemic has left indelible marks on the ways that our institutions of higher education are and will be situated to support diversity, equity and inclusion on and beyond campuses.

Through funding awards, this call aims to:

  • Regain the ground lost on DEI efforts through pilots and extensions of evidence-informed programs and measurements of their impacts;
  • Circumvent isolation and disruptions to holistic health, community activism and agency, particularly on behalf of communities besieged by extremist threats that lessen access, representation, visibility, and value in American cultures and systems to support rights and privileges such as safety, voting, education, and health, etc.; and
  • Enact evidence-based practices and empower partnerships for inclusive teaching and activism for social justice

In order to promote change we need to:

  • Recognize the points of stasis and/or inertia
  • Question/interrogate root causes
  • Integrate proven and promising practices into broader use
  • Promote tracking, monitoring to be vigilant about impacts

Proposal Types

Competitive proposals must launch or build on evidence-based, action-oriented projects with considerations about sustainability beyond the funding period in at least one of the following areas:

(1) creating projects, demonstrations, pilots and/or inquiry related to enhance promising or best practices for action and community engagement to confront extremism toward measurable impacts

(2) training, educating and/or researching phenomena among UCI constituents to examine the factors to enhance thriving in the face of extremism and the aftermath of the current pandemic; this focus may also include evidence-based improvements to pilot and/or extend innovative pedagogy within and beyond UCI, fostering care and closing measurable gaps in achievement in minoritized, vulnerable or majority communities targeted by extremist ideologies to limit social justice

(3) developing, testing, and/or enhancing facilitative factors to improve comprehensive health and well-being in the aftermath of COVID-19 learning about the threats imposed by extremist values in structures, systems and/or societies.

Successful proposals will reflect projects that engage across multiple communities, have action plans, milestones and timelines within the call period, and engage UCI members and other partners. They will specifically define the issues related to extremism and COVID-19 effects and provide evidence-based rationale for the project and its activities. They will discuss reasonable plans for sustainability beyond the funding period – which do not have to confirmed at this time (e.g., submission of grants and/or partnership work), but would demonstrated in the described project activities and measures of success.

Project Duration

To ensure that projects may be implemented with appropriate advance planning, selected projects are funded for a 24-month period, with the mandatory mid-year and annual reporting and use of funds ending no later than July 31, 2024.

Type of Projects Funded/Fund Use

Projects may range from forums and workshops, case study of strategic decision making, or direct interventions, service expansions, or innovative programming, and research to support UCI members and potentially other partners beyond UCI.

Funding must be used solely for project activities according to UCI policies governing state funds. Fund use may include summer ninths salary, if applicable, equipment, presentation fees, learning tools, and resources. Funds also may be used for one-time stipend salary stipends or direct payments to UCI undergraduates or UCI graduate students or other students, but not for fee remission. Funds may be used for event-related gift cards and honoraria.

Competitive proposals will have single or multiple project leads and be funded up to $25,000 for the total funding period (24 months). For funded multiple-investigator projects, the funding will be split between no more than two co-investigators for the same project, based on justification in the budget narrative.

Review Process

Submissions will be prioritized by a Review Committee, accompanied by recommendations for funding. Total funding is subject to change and based on the funds available at the time of all funding decisions.  The Office of Inclusive Excellence expects to fund a total of 10-12 projects.

Proposal Components

Only complete proposals will be considered; incomplete proposals will be returned without review.

Complete proposals must include: completed form submitted online and one PDF proposal of a maximum of two typed pages with the following components:

  • Abstract/Project Summary of no more than 150 words
  • Statement of Need/Project Purpose and Goals
  • Project Activities, Approaches, and Expected Outcomes, inclusive of a project timeline for the entire period of operations, and the types of UCI members engaged
  • Evaluation/Assessment Plan for measurable outcomes
  • Plans for Dissemination and Sustainability
  • Significance of the Project
  • Budget and Budget Narrative detailing expenses for the entire period of operations

Deadline Has Been Extended

Complete proposals were requested no later than 5 p.m. (Pacific time) on Friday, July 8, 2022

Review Criteria

Nominations will be reviewed by invited UCI leadership group consisting of faculty and staff members across diverse and inclusive projects. Successful proposals will reflect the following review priorities.

The extent to which the proposed project:

  • Contributes to knowledge and actions to confront extremism at UCI
  • Advances the UCI Action Plan for Inclusive Excellence on at least one of its pillars: community, thriving, and wellness;
  • Builds on existing strengths and/or paves new paths related;
  • Catalyzes new interschool or campus-wide collaborations;
  • Enhances graduate and undergraduate education (i.e., contributes directly to undergraduate education in the classroom or outside of the classroom in addition to mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in the generation of new knowledge);

Implementation Requirements

The Primary Contact Lead for each project funded from this call accepts responsibilities to:

  • Serve as the SOLE CONTACT for all OIE communications and arranged presentations and accepts responsibility to communicate OIE information to any team members or co-project leads
  • Provide image(s) and abstracts for online project promotion
  • Complete or ensure submission of mid-year (due November 30, 2022 and November 30, 2023) and annual project updates (due August 31, 2023 and August 31, 2024) on expenses and advancement of project goals by established deadlines
  • Request advance approval from the Office of Inclusive Excellence in writing for any changes in fund uses or funded project activities; approval response must be provided in writing by the Office of Inclusive Excellence to proceed with desired changes
  • Participate in a video-recorded interview and public forum to communicate findings and project outcomes
  • Complete a Final Project Use Report and expend all funds no later than July 31, 2024. Make arrangements for return of all unencumbered or unexpended awarded funds by May 1, 2024.

2022 Awards

2022 Awardees for Confronting Extremism through Community, Thriving and Wellness

Awardees by unit are:

Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Department of Studio Art, David Trend (Lead) – The Inclusive Course Design Institute – Additional team members: Stacey Branham, Megan Linos (Co-PI), Meredith Ehrenberg (Co-PI), and Andrew Berk

Program in Public Health and School of Social Sciences, Department of Chicano/Latino Studies, Alana LeBrón (Lead) – Evaluating an Anti-Racism Curriculum to Inform the Development of the Center for Environmental Health Disparities Research (CEHDR) – Additional team members: Jun Wu, Abigail Reyes, Mextli Lopez, and Candice Taylor Lucas

Program in Public Health, Sora Park Tanjasiri (Lead) – Assessing Cancer Health Disparities through a Community Outreach and Engagement Lab (COE Lab) – Additional team members: Brittany Morey, Cevadne Lee, and Vy Le

School of Education, Rossella Santagata (Lead) – Theater of Resilience (“TOR”), Part II: Bringing Together Undergrads and Minoritized High-School Interns for Collaborative Writing and Performance on the UCI Campus – Additional team members: Joseph Jenkins, Gustavo Carlo, and Adriana Campos Johnson

School of Humanities, Department of African American Studies, Sora Han (Lead) – Living Archives of Poetic Justice: Confronting Extremism through Community-Centered Oral Histories and Storytelling – Additional team members: Susan Bibler Coutin, Audra Eagle Yun, Richard Matthew, and Krystal Tribbett (Co-PI)

School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Cynthia Haq (Lead) – Thriving in UCI Health – Additional team members: Afshan Baraghoush, DeMarco Bowen, Jaih Craddock, Tessa Daniels, Xavier Hernandez, Michelle Quint, Juliet McMullin, Bobby Sasson, and Ursula Worsham

School of Social Ecology, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, Brandon Golob (Lead) – Teaching during Trying Times: Training the Future Professoriate in Contemplative & Inclusive Pedagogy – Additional team members: Karma Rose Zavita (Co-PI) and Daniel Mann

School of Social Ecology, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, Keramet Reiter (Lead) – Confronting Extremism through Trauma-Informed Community Allyship Training Around Incarceration – Additional team members: Jennifer Gomez and Ananda Van Boeyen

School of Social Sciences, Department of Chicano/Latino Studies, Laura Enriquez (Lead) – Thriving in the Face of Anti-Immigrant Extremism: Building a Toolkit for Undocumented Student Well-being – Additional team members: Martha Morales Hernandez (Co-PI), Angela Chen, Eloisa Amador-Romero, and Shaozhuan Li

Division of Student Affairs, Womxn’s Center for Success, Sydney Torres (Lead) – Reproductive Justice at UCI – Additional team members: Erika Cortez and Britney Chen