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Lehigh Receives $2.5 Million to Establish Social Justice Institute


Lehigh University recently announced the establishment of an institute for social justice and racial equality through the generous donation of a local philanthropist.

Charles Marcon has donated $2.5 million to the Pennsylvania university to create the Marcon Institute for the research and study of practices, perspectives, and policies on racial justice. 

The goal of the institute is to prepare undergraduates to become community partners in promoting social and racial justice.

“This gift and the institute will foster a new generation of students with a lifelong commitment to advocacy, help dismantle systemic racism, and positively affect the lives of people in the Lehigh Valley and beyond,” Lehigh President John Simon said.

Next Steps

For now, Lehigh is seeking candidates for director of the institute to establish a program of study and develop community projects.

Faculty and staff have also begun identifying students interested in joining the program. Future Macron Fellows must be “conscientious, thoughtful, caring” people with “a passion for social justice,” according to university representatives.

“My hope is that they [students], and the institute, can create a voice that is heard far beyond our community to highlight and eliminate racial injustice,” Marcon stated.

Vice Provost for Equity and Community Donald Outing remarked that the donation will provide a tremendous infusion of energy for the university’s ongoing commitment to social justice. Outing also noted that the institute will enhance the academic culture at Lehigh as it continues to raise leaders of character who will go on to become voices of social change.

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