The federal government is pouring large sums of taxpayer dollars into pushing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives—known as DEI—on academic science, technology, engineering, and math programs, or STEM.

The National Science Foundation, a government agency, is funding a slate of programs aimed at addressing alleged racism in environmental and civil engineering, making the field of chemistry more diverse, and training engineers that reflect “black/Latinx” communities, according to a federal spending database. Grants identified by the Daily Caller News Foundation are part of a broader effort by the National Science Foundation to push racial equity in STEM programs.


One National Science Foundation grant, worth $1.5 million and distributed to the University of South Florida in July 2022, seeks to “challenge anti-black-racism in civil and environmental engineering” by developing “a suite of integrated, interdisciplinary, community-engaged, anti-black-racism training opportunities for civil and environmental engineering undergraduates.”

In doing so, the foundation and the University of South Florida aim “to build capacity for addressing complex and interconnected challenges of our time.”

This grant “serve[s] the national interest,” according to a description.

Another such grant, worth about $180,000 and directed to Tufts University in Massachusetts last September, will focus on producing engineers that reflect the “black/Latinx” communities by “broadening notions of what it means to be an engineer and who can become one.”

“Students will learn ways of doing engineering as they engage in real-world examples inspired by the realities, histories and traditions of afro-Latinx people” under the government-funded program.

The Tufts grant is funded through a National Science Foundation program called Racial Equity in STEM Education, a broad effort aimed at inserting DEI in the academic sciences.

Institutions applying for grants awarded under the program should “conceptualize systemic racism within the context of their proposal,” make an effort to “describe how the proposed work will advance scholarship of racial equity and address systemic racism,” and have their projects be “led by or in authentic partnership with those who experience inequities caused by systemic racism,” according to the National Science Foundation.

The federal agency anticipates spending between $15 million and $25 million on this program annually, according to its website.

Other racial equity grants funded this year by the National Science Foundation include $184,000 to diversify chemistry research and to develop a program that promotes “equity, diversity, and inclusion” and $300,000 to build New Mexico’s IT workforce “through equity and inclusion.”

The National Science Foundation and the organizations to which the agency awarded funds didn’t respond to requests for comment.

This report originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation

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