APSA Awards Two Centennial Center Growing Democracy Grants

The American Political Science Association’s Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs is pleased to announce that it has awarded two Growing Democracy grants, totaling $19,700, to projects that will both help researchers better understand critical aspects of American democracy and empower citizens to take a greater role in civic affairs.

Dr. Tuong Vu and Dr. Y Thien Nguyen, University of Oregon

Misinformation, Vaccination, and the Role of Community-Based Organizations in a Republican Leaning Ethnic Minority Community

Misinformation, Vaccination, and the Role of Community-Based Organizations in a Republican Leaning Ethnic Minority Community” is led by Professor Tuong Vu and Dr. Y Thien Nguyen of the University of Oregon. The project examines the role of community-based organizations in fighting against misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. Drs. Vu and Nguyen focus on the Vietnamese American community in Orange County, CA, an ethnic community long known to be Republican leaning but has very high vaccination rates. The two researchers also partner with the Boat People SOS-Center for Community Advancement (BPSOS-CCA), a Vietnamese American community organization centrally located in the heart of Orange County’s “Little Saigon.” This project will help BPSOS-CCA better engage with its community and encourage community members to participate in the democratic process. Additionally, the project will examine whether the party identification is connected to vaccine acceptance, the importance of community-based organizations in fighting misinformation, and how these efforts can impact the health of individuals in minority communities in the US.

Scholar Speak: An Academic/Community Scholar Forum

“Scholar Speak: An Academic/Community Scholar Forum” is led by Dr. Ashley C.J. Daniels and Nykidra Robinson of Black Girls Vote and Dr. Melissa R. Michelson of Menlo College. In 2020, Black Girls Vote (BGV) and Menlo College initiated a successful working relationship for the Party at the Mailbox effort.  This relationship spawned several positive outcomes in forging new get-out-the-vote (GOTV) research in political science, providing data for use in seeking additional funding to sustain the program, and supporting GOTV efforts in minority communities.  Following this success, Black Girls Vote and Menlo College will host two workshop forums to share how the BGV and Menlo College dynamic works with 20 local academics and community leaders in the Baltimore area and how they can replicate this model.  In these forums, we categorize the groups as two sets of scholars—academic scholars and community scholars. The forums will foster open dialogue between the groups for a better understanding of how they can help each other in the shared vision of empowering citizens, particularly Black women, to fully leverage their political power for positive change in their communities.

The Growing Democracy grant program supports community-based programming from political scientists that aims to bridge the boundaries between academia and community and break down the barriers between residents and governing institutions. Growing Democracy grants provide funding for co-designed programs aimed at supporting informed, engaged, and effective citizens. Funded work must be community-centered, developed with an awareness of community needs, and must recognize the expertise held by both faculty and community members. The Growing Democracy Grant Program is made possible by the generosity of the Ivywood Foundation.

Grant at a Glance

Title: “Misinformation, Vaccination, and the Role of Community-Based Organizations in a Republican Leaning Ethnic Community.”

Amount: $9,700

Proposed Timeline: June 2022—June 2023

Project Leads:

  • Tuong Vu, University of Oregon
  • Y Thien Nguyen, University of Oregon

Grant at a Glance

Title: “Scholar Speak: An Academic/Community Scholar Forum”

Amount: $10,000

Proposed Timeline: Fall 2022 – Spring 2023

Project Leads:

  • Ashley C.J. Daniels, Black Girls Vote
  • Melissa R. Michelson, Menlo College
  • Nykidra Robinson, Black Girls Vote