The Institute of Indigenous Future of the University of California, San Diego receives a $ 400,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation

An innovative and interdisciplinary research incubator for community activity at the University of California, San Diego is now qualified to continue its work in educational, scientific, and environmental joint design with Native peoples. The University of UC San Diego Indigenous Futures Institute (IFI) received a $ 400,000 grant from the Racial Justice and Equity Fund’s Lumina Foundation.

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Theresa Stuart Ambo (Tongva / Luiseño), IFI Co-Director, Native American scholar of higher education and assistant professor in the Department of Education

“We are very grateful and excited about this demonstration of support,” said Theresa Stuart Ambo (Tongwa / Louisino), IFI Co-Principal, an Indian scholar of higher education and an assistant professor in the Department of Education at the University of California, San Diego. Social Sciences. Ambo co-founded the IFI with P.O. Kiaolo Fox (Kanaka Mauli), a Hawaiian-born genomicist and assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology WK. Wayne Young, Professor and Researcher in Community Organization and Critical Pedagogy and Provost of John Muir College.

“The IFI mission is well in line with Lumina’s values,” Ambo said. “This grant will help us continue our work in addressing economic, social, political and educational inequalities affecting indigenous communities, with new approaches focused on tribal sovereignty to promote self-reliance through a self-determined future.”

The IFI is a community-centered, community-led, faculty-led research center located in the UC San Diego Design Lab, spanning multiple departments. It was created with the aim of rebuilding relations between indigenous communities, researchers and research institutions to create more collaborative and mutually beneficial ways of academic and community involvement.

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P. Keolu Fox (Kānaka Maoli), Hawaiian-born genomicist and assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology

The grant will support the Mat-koo-la-hoo-ee project, a project that examines the history and cultural significance of the native land where UC San Diego is located, along with the Kumeyaay Water Craft project and other programs including a dream tank-driven community and action labs. It will also provide the engagement of indigenous specialists including a senior-resident, community-based resident and futuristic-resident, as well as the service of a part-time grant writer, enabling the IFI to continue its growth and expansion path.

“As indigenous communities reclaim and activate their agency and power in shaping the world of tomorrow, practical programs of this kind become more vital day by day,” Ambo said. “Obviously our work is just beginning, and with Lumina’s support, you can expect many more exciting and collaborative IFI initiatives in the coming months and years.”

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K. Wayne Young, Professor and Researcher in Community Organization and Critical Pedagogy and Provost of John Muir College

Lumina is an independent and private foundation committed to making accessible to everyone opportunities for learning beyond high school. Grants like this help advance its goal of preparing people for educated citizenship and success in a global economy.

“Participants gain experience in exercising their power responsibly and effectively, which creates new opportunities for those in indigenous communities and around the world,” Ambo said. “This is in line with Lumina’s goals, and we are proud to continue to expand this work.”

In addition to the Lumina grant, the IFI also received a $ 125,000 grant from the Footprint Coalition, among other funders, which it will use to reward its own $ 5,000 grants to teams of native futurists working specifically on climate change and environmental health issues.

Philanthropic support, such as the grant from the Lumina Foundation, contributes to the campaign for UC San Diego – the university’s comprehensive fundraising effort that ended in June 2022. For more information on the Indigenous Futures Institute at UC San Diego, visit the institute’s website.


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