IPPSR Wins Kellogg Grant for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Michigan

May 5, 2021 - Cindy Kyle, Matt Grossmann

Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research has secured a key grant supporting a new initiative instilling racial equity in all aspects of IPPSR’s policy education, political leadership development and survey research.

IPPSR has made strides toward incorporating racial equity within its signature Michigan Political Leadership Program, Public Policy Forums and research, said IPPSR Director Matt Grossmann (pictured left).

The $425,000 W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant, through 2023, enables IPPSR to foster a broader awareness of the need to address racial inequities across the political spectrum, Grossmann said.

The award reflects the College of Social Science commitment to cultivate an inclusive and welcoming college environment that celebrates a diversity of people, ideas, and perspectives, said Dr. Mary Finn, Dean, MSU College of Social Science. IPPSR is a unit of MSU’s College of Social Science.

“This grant will help foster our mission of creating a more equitable world through social justice reform, to help transform the human experience in positive ways” said Dean Finn said.

The initiative will help IPPSR focus activities around building a compelling case for greater awareness of racial equity across state policymaking, Grossmann added.

“We seek to raise policymaker awareness of racial inequities in the state and make the political case for racial equity,” he said. “Our goal is to reach leaders from the moment they decide to enter politics, to the time they win their first election and are sworn into office.”

Politicians will find that such awareness will not only help them build a better Michigan, but will also help them win elections, gain constituent trust and avoid the trauma of political scandals, Grossmann said.

“We will incorporate research on increasing public concern about racial equity, potential backlash to politicians who do not take the goal seriously, and the benefits of communicating to citizens about racial equity,” he added.

IPPSR expects to publish racial equity reports and to incorporate newly designed curriculum into the Michigan Political Leadership Program, Public Policy Forums plus those designed for legislative staffers and state Capitol interns.

Expect to see expanded experiential learning, interactive visits to diverse communities and distribution of data outlining how public policy can drive disproportionate racial impacts.

“IPPSR will become a clearinghouse for research on diversity of candidates, political officials, and staff as well as for evaluations of efforts to incorporate racial equity considerations in politics and policymaking,” said Grossmann.

IPPSR’s director since 2016, Grossmann is a political scientist recognized for his work in American elections, public policy, political parties and behavior, and public opinion.

He is an author of Asymmetric Politics, The Not-So-Special Interests, Campaigns & Elections, Artists of the Possible, and Red State Blues. His next book, How Social Science Got Better, will be published in 2021.

MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research is a unit within the College of Social Science. Its focus is on public policy education, political leadership development and survey research.

IPPSR is home of the Michigan Political Leadership Program, the Office for Survey Research, State of the State Survey, Public Policy Forum, Correlates of State Policy, State of the State Podcast, and the Legislative Leadership Program. The Kellogg Foundation has previously supported IPPSR’s work informing education, health, and economic policy and building the next generation of political leaders.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.