Racial Justice Summer Opportunities Grants

In June of 2020, following the police murders of George Floyd, Breona Taylor, and many others named and unnamed, the college amplified its commitment to racial justice work. This included creating new racial justice opportunities for students and calling attention to other social justice opportunities that provide possibilities for racial justice work. This webpage highlights these opportunities.

Racial justice is the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Racial justice initiatives address structural and systemic changes to ensure equal access to opportunities, eliminate disparities, and advance racial equity—thus ensuring that all people, regardless of their race, can prosper and reach their full potential. Racial justice and equity is achieved through deliberate action to dismantle problematic and build positively transformational systems.

Racial justice opportunities at Williams include internships and other partnerships with racial justice organizations locally, regionally, and nationally, as well as opportunities for students to create, define, and engage with their own racial justice initiatives. Opportunities are available through various college offices, as well as at various times of the year.

Summer Opportunity Grants Overview

These summer opportunity grants provide a flexible opportunity for students to define how to advance racial and social justice initiatives. Projects and opportunities may include internships, research projects, partnerships with community-based organizations, summer courses, art projects, community service, conference attendance, and other opportunities, provided that the specific focus is on issues of racial and social justice. 


The standard award for the Summer Opportunity Grant will be $4800 for 10 weeks in summer 2022, and will include housing on the Williams Campus in Williamstown for 8 weeks. It is also possible to apply for projects that are shorter in length and will not require residency on the Williams campus.


Come back in the spring semester to apply for the 2023 Summer Opportunity Grant.


Awardees will be expected to meet weekly with a mentor from the Davis Center team throughout the term of the proposed opportunity. The Grant can also support opportunities that involve an external mentor or supervisor in addition to the Davis Center mentor. Awardees will create a final project as part of their opportunity, which can be shared in some way with the Williams community. 
Due to regulations about summer employment at the College, the selection committee will prioritize funding applicants who will not be employed in another capacity at the college during the weeks they are awarded a Grant. 

Application Process

The application process involves submitting an application form with a proposed budget. Semifinalists will have a ~30-minute interview with a member of the selection committee to discuss the feasibility of the proposed opportunity, refine and clarify the goals of the applicant, ask questions of the selection committee, and ensure the eligibility of the candidate for receiving the award. We expect interviews to take place during the first two weeks of March and for a decision to be made by the end of Spring Break.



Please contact Aly W Corey, Associate Director of the Davis Center, at awc5 with any questions.