Since 1972, the Institute for Ethnic Studies has played a unique role at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and in the state of Nebraska. Our graduates’ commitments to critical analysis, community involvement, equality, and social justice are exceptional.
Whether as majors or minors, our students leave the university as critical thinkers who are knowledgeable about ethnic communities in the United States, Africa, and Latin America. Like our faculty, they view sociopolitical systems through a social justice lens and are able to approach complex topics from a foundation of knowledge and critical analysis.
Your support of the Institute for Ethnic Studies is critical to our success. Your tax-deductible contribution provides the Institute with key resources to support our cultural programming, educational initiatives, and lecture series, increasing the campus’s and public’s understanding and knowledge of ethnic communities in Nebraska and beyond.
Below are six ways you can support our institute.
Rev. Dr. Michael W. Combs Memorial Fund for Scholars of Equality and Justice
This fund is used annually to support undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members who follow in Dr. Combs’ footsteps as change agents for social justice and racial equality. A concerned and passionate advocate for historically excluded groups, Dr. Combs was a scholar of African American politics, constitutional law, and judicial politics who taught for 40 years at the University of Nebraska.
Inaugural Recipients of the Combs Fund
Megan Cardwell, graduate student in communication studies
Dr. Cynthia Willis-Esqueda, faculty member in psychology
Ethnic Studies Discretionary Fund
This fund is for the general benefit and support of the program. This fund provides valuable resources in the form of unrestricted support, allowing the Institute to make key strategic investments when opportunities arise and in areas where the need is greatest.
Ralph H. Vigil Seminar Series in Ethnic Studies Fund
This fund is used annually or otherwise to fund a lectureship program that brings one or more outstanding scholars in the field of Ethnic Studies to the Institute of Ethnic Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln each academic year in honor of the first Director of the Institute, Ralph H. Vigil.
Rafael (Ralph) Grajeda Graduate Student Support Fund
This fund is used annually to support graduate students pursuing coursework and research in Chicanx/Latinx studies and a graduate degree in English, in honor of the Institute's co-founder, Rafael "Ralph" Grajeda.
Libano Fabio Castro Scholarship in Film Studies
This scholarship is used annually to support a junior or senior pursuing a major in Film Studies and a minor or major in any area of Ethnic Studies, in honor of Libano "Lee" Castro, who loved cinema all his life but could not afford to attend college until he retired in his 60s, when he took (and loved) a film studies course.
Leo Yankton Award for Indigenous Justice
This award is given annually to UNL students, staff, or non-Institute faculty—or non-UNL-affiliated individuals—who have contributed significantly to Indigenous justice in the spirit of Leo Yankton’s own dedicated activism. Leo was a local Native warrior who died too soon on his quest for social justice, which included championing Indigenous People’s Day and protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.