Mellon’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and access dates back to its inception. From the support of programs like A Better Chance in the 1970s to the establishment in the 1980s of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program to diversify the professoriate, from research that led to the founding of the Posse Foundation to the Foundation’s long-term support of post-doctoral programs aimed at facilitating the progress of early career faculty of color and others, the Mellon Foundation has spurred diversification efforts in higher education, particularly in the United States and South Africa.
Beginning in March 2019, the Mellon Foundation will merge the Diversity program with Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities (HESH). Diversity has been and remains a key focus that cuts across all of Mellon’s grantmaking in support of higher education, the humanities, and the arts. Senior Program Officer Armando Bengochea and his talented team will continue to lead the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, as well as the important portfolio of grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities and other minority-serving entities.
The leadership and staff of our Higher Education and Diversity programs have long worked together on a range of shared interests. The formal integration of the Higher Education and Diversity programs will make the essential work of promoting diversity, access, and belonging even more central and prominent in our work across the higher education sector. It will also underscore that rigorous, discerning inclusion is critical to the Foundation in all of the sectors of in which it works. These institutions will now all be fully part of HESH programs encompassing undergraduate and graduate education.