Fall 2021 application deadline
Friday, October 1, 2021, at 11:59pm.


The Department of Ethnic Studies (DES)  is excited to announce the Mentorship and Outreach as a Vision for Education (MOVE) program. MOVE offers opportunities for our doctoral students to work with our undergraduate majors and minors on social justice issues that are relevant to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC) communities. The program seeks to help create and support vital student-led projects on campus to affect transformative change regarding long-standing disparities and inequities that have plagued CU Boulder. Projects can explore such possibilities for transformative change through scholarly, activist, and/or performance-based methods. Moreover, MOVE provides opportunities for research and mentee experience for undergraduates interested in graduate school, as well as important mentoring experiences for graduate students interested in pursuing faculty positions. The program will develop in tandem with our new community-building efforts, including the Ethnic Studies Circles for Active Learning and Research (ESCALAR) program, which will feature additional venues for knowledge-sharing, networking, research presentations, and professionalization workshops that will more closely connect and benefit our students, faculty, and staff. Doctoral students in DES who serve as mentors for an undergraduate MOVE project will receive a token payment in appreciation for their expertise, time, and leadership, paid following the conclusion of a semester in which they serve as a MOVE mentor. Undergraduate mentees who successfully complete the program will receive 3 academic credits (see more details below). Mentors are expected to closely oversee and advise their mentee’s project throughout the semester.


Through the program, undergraduate mentees develop their own ideas for new racial justice and equity related projects, programs, or research paths, then meet with their graduate student mentors weekly or biweekly to undertake these projects and keep them on track toward their goals. Each project’s purpose, goals, and timeline are developed collaboratively between each mentor/mentee pairing. Through their work on the project, undergraduate student mentees will receive 3 upper division independent study course credits. Each approved MOVE project will culminate in a presentation, performance, or another equivalent form of dissemination to the Ethnic Studies broader community. The public components of an approved MOVE project will become part of the ESCALAR program. Academic credit is assigned on a pass/fail basis. The associate chair of undergraduate studies will oversee the 3 credit academic components of the projects. Academic components include doing scholarly research that result in doing formal scholarly papers. The lengths will vary between 8-25 pages depending on the overall scope of the community based project and with the guidance of the mentor and the chair of undergraduate studies.  Each Spring semester, DES will host a lightly catered MOVE community ESCALAR event for students to showcase their projects to the larger community of faculty, students, staff and supporters of DES.


The MOVE program was originally developed by Ethnic Studies PhD student Wayne Freeman in 2018 as a praxis-oriented civic engagement program that puts the concepts students learn through their Ethnic Studies degree into practical application on campus and in the community. See below for a glimpse of previous MOVE projects, which span from performative musical collaborations to developing new university community initiatives.

Application Process

If you are interested in pursuing a MOVE project, please take the following steps:

  1. Develop your ideas about the MOVE project you wish to pursue
  2. Identify a potential grad student mentor.
  3. Reach out to and meet with your grad student mentor to see if an agreement can be reached about the project.
  4. If there is an agreement, carefully download and complete the undergraduate student mentee section of the MOVE Application/Contract fillable PDF form.
  5. Once your section is filled in, give the Application/Contract to your grad student mentor for approval (about what you will do, how you will present your work, and how it will be evaluated) and to fill in the graduate student mentor section of the form.
  6. When you are in agreement, you should both sign the MOVE Application/Agreement.
  7. Next, attach the completed MOVE Application/Agreement to this Google Application Submission Form.
  8. The Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies will review the Application/Agreement, and if it has merit and is well-developed, will sign it.
  9. You will be registered for the MOVE course by DES staff, who will send you an email confirmation.