Current Grant Activity

Management Professors Secure Grant from National Science Foundation

Drs. Kristen Jones, Alex Lindsey and Jessica Kirk, from the Department of Management, have received a Science of Organizations (SoO) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the amount of $148,020 to design an intervention that will train organizational leaders to cultivate working environments that are especially conducive to enhancing the psychological safety of racial minority women employees at work. Dr. Jones is the grant's Principle Investigator (PI) and Drs. Lindsey and Kirk are Co-PIs. The team also includes Dr. Enrica Ruggs (University of Houston, PI) and Dr. Devalina Nag (University of San Diego, Co-PI). This SoO grant is significant because it demonstrates the success of Fogelman College of Business and Economics' (FCBE) seed grant program and aligns with the university’s goals of maintaining Carnegie R1 status, as well as the mission of FCBE's Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion (CWDI).


GROWWTH Collaborative

The Growing Relational and Occupational Wealth in West Tennessee Households (GROWWTH) collaborative is comprised of lead agency University of Memphis (UofM), three regional workforce boards, the Hooks Institute, and other local care providers. In December 2020, the State of Tennessee awarded GROWWTH a Tennessee Opportunity Pilot Initiative Planning Grant in the amount of $445,000 to mitigate benefit cliff effects and promote self-sufficiency for TANF (i.e., Tennessee Assistance for Needy Families) families.

GROWWTH planning grant partners will collect and analyze stakeholder data from 21 West Tennessee counties, including input from TANF recipients, local employers, and family service organizations. The planning grant partners will determine the implementation feasibility of strategies such as increased access to job training; transitional jobs; sector-based workforce initiatives; and alternative childcare and transportation arrangements to foster economic mobility for West Tennessee low-income families. Finally, the collaborative will be proposing an implementation grant to the State of Tennessee by March 30, 2022, requesting up to $25m to create transformational change for citizens and employers in the region.

The Center for Workplace Diversity of Inclusion (CWDI) is one of several centers included under the UofM umbrella which is playing a key role in the GROWWTH collaborative. Experts from the CWDI are supporting GROWWTH’s efforts to provide sustainable wages to TANF-eligible recipients while helping area employers build more inclusive workplaces.

To optimize the design of interventions that enhance the ability of individuals in needy families to find and obtain sustainable employment, our goals are to:

·Identify baseline information from Western Tennessee residents with respect to their work readiness, occupational information, training and education, and access to employers

·Collect data from hiring managers of key employers in Western Tennessee to assess their organizational readiness for recruiting and hiring Western Tennessee residents from needy families

These activities align with the primary mission of the CWDI –– to promote workplace diversity and inclusion through the advancement of research, education, and community partnerships to ensure more equitable workplaces for all. In doing so, the CWDI aims to enhance understanding of workplace diversity and inclusion issues and immerse evidence-based diversity and inclusion practices into organizations. CWDI experts not only have a background in helping individuals to reskill and upskill to find more meaningful employment, but they have particular expertise in designing interventions that are inclusive of and equitable for all residents.

CWDI Team Members of the GROWWTH Collaborative

Kristen Jones

Kristen P. Jones, Ph.D
CWDI Interim Director
Associate Professor of Management

Kurt Kraiger

Kurt Kraiger, Ph.D
Associate Dean for Research and Academic Programs, FCBE
Professor and Chair, Department of Management

Verlinda Henning  

Verlinda J. Henning, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
FaithPeople Memphis


Additional Resources on Building Inclusive Workplaces