Equity Initiatives Fund


On behalf of the Career Center, we acknowledge the racism, hate, and police brutality that led to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, among many others in 2020. We recognize the pain and violence Black Americans are currently facing and also want to amplify the many voices reminding us that the pain and violence are not new; white supremacy and anti-Blackness have existed throughout the history of the United States.

Racism and discrimination are manifested in career services and the world of work. Occupational segregation, unconscious bias in hiring, and active discrimination are a few of the systemic barriers that Black and/or African Americans face in their careers. Research has shown that living in a racially diverse zip code can have a negative impact on job prospects. Black cis-women earn an average of $0.61 to the dollar earned by white cis-men, leading to almost $900,000 of lost revenue over the course of a 40-year career.

Additionally, for each of the past three years, CSU students who identify as Black and/or African American have lower rates of career plans secured at the time of graduation than the average of all CSU students. Additionally, for two of the past three years, CSU students who identify as Black and/or African American have lower-than-average starting salaries in their first job out of college.

We know that we must do better and recommit to doing our work by embracing and celebrating students’ identities in career development, removing structural barriers that inhibit success, and using our power to advocate for change.


To challenge the way racism shows up in the pursuit of careers, the Career Center has committed to allocating a portion of our self-generated revenue annually to support equity-based career initiatives. Students can apply for up to $1000 annually. The mission of the Equity Initiatives Fund is to promote Black and/or African American empowerment in identifying and creating career-related opportunities. This connects with CSU’s mission to make education and training accessible to all deserving applications from all classes and groups. While we continue the work to dismantle systemic barriers to success, this fund is one small way to make an immediate impact.

Examples of career-related opportunities could include activities that support the mission of the Fund, such as:

  • Supporting student or student group members in attending a conference
  • Providing funds to students who need to travel to a job interview
  • Covering application fees for Graduate school/Professional School applications and exams
  • Providing funding for membership fees for professional organizations or associations
  • Any other activities that would directly support a student’s/student group’s career development that is in line with the Fund’s mission

Eligibility and Applying

  • Any currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate student at Colorado State University seeking to promote the mission of the Fund.
  • Be in Good Academic Standing (2.0 GPA for undergraduates, 3.0 GPA for graduate students
  • We prioritize:
    • First time applicants
    • Undergraduate students who are nearing their anticipated graduation date
    • First generation and students who demonstrate financial assistance 

Application Deadlines and Award Notifications

We accept applications all year until April 15th, 2023 or as funds are available. The selection committee reviews applications on an ongoing basis, and we notify students between 4-6 weeks after you apply.

NOTE: The Equity Initiatives Fund will be awarded in the form of a stipend, which is considered taxable income to the student. Prior to accepting the fund, please check with the Office of Financial Aid regarding potential impacts on your financial aid package.

If you have questions, contact Alexis Gomez, alexis.a.gomez@colostate.edu