Articles, Podcasts, and Videos

August 2022 Forbes Article on 1994-1862 Relationships

Another Critical Step Land-Grants Can Take To Fight Racial Injustice

There is at least one more step that land-grant universities must take to realize more fully their antiracist mission, and that sort of action surrounds the need to develop partnerships with their sister Tribal College institutions.

Article in Forbes published August 31, 2022 can be viewed here.


Episode two takes us back to the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act of 1862 into action, and with it, Ohio State into existence.

This episode explores the origins of Ohio State’s land-grant mission, as well as the “land grab” nature of the funds used to establish The Ohio State University.

View the whole episode here.


November 23, 2021 InFACT Discovery Theme Newsletter

The term “land grant university” is quite common in the United States but few have interrogated what that term really means — from whom was this land “granted”?

“I was chagrined to have received three degrees from two land-grant universities, worked at a land-grant university for over 30 years, and yet had never thought to ask where the land came from,” says Stephen Gavazzi, professor of Human Development and Family Science in the College of Education and Human Ecology. “As it turns out, there was an immense transfer of wealth from Tribal Nations to establish these institutions of higher learning.”

Read the entire article here.



US universities ponder massive debt to Native Americans

In year since land-grant institutions learned they were funded by theft, serious conversations have barely begun

Times Higher Education

October 19, 2021

Read here

Already struggling to address its historical debt to enslaved black Americans, US higher education is now beginning to confront one of its central origin stories: a massive theft from indigenous populations.


New Update on Stepping Out & Stepping Up Project Efforts

InFACT Discovery Theme Newsletter

May 20, 2021


Our December 2020 newsletter article described a fledgling effort to come to terms with the fact that Native tribal lands had been taken and sold to create the original endowments for The Ohio State University and 51 other land-grant universities (LGUs) through the Morrill Act of 1862.

Click here for an update, co-written by Lead PI Stephen M. Gavazzi and InFACT Executive Director Brian Snyder, on the initiative to push these LGUs to “step out” of their comfort zones and “step up” to the responsibilities inherent to the ignoble roots of their foundational finances.



2 Steps Land Grants Should Take to Fight Racial Injustice

Inside Higher Ed

May 7, 2021

Featured expert: Stephen M. Gavazzi, professor of human development and family science

Unfortunately, to date we’ve seen a lot of talk but far less action when it comes to righting past wrongs and healing our nation’s wounds, argues Stephen M. Gavazzi.



First Nations Development Institute Spring 2021 Newsletter

Throughout the nation, for over 150 years, some of America’s finest universities have been instilling education, facilitating research, and providing direct services to their communities, all on lands that were stolen from Native tribes and peoples. Now, universities are beginning to recognize their land’s original inhabitants, acknowledge the truth of their histories, and explore ways in which reparations with Native people can be made. In a new project toward truth and reconciliation, First Nations is working with leaders at The Ohio State University to examine the dispossession of tribal lands at this land-grant university and the effects it has had on the economic, educational, and health disparities of Ohio’s Native peoples.

Important coverage of our Ohio State work on Native American racial justice issues was discussed in the latest newsletter from First Nations Development Institute.

Read in full here.


InFACT Discovery Theme December 2020 Newsletter

The December newsletter from InFACT (Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation) featured the Stepping Out & Stepping Up Racial Justice Project.

An excerpt:

“We can’t change the history regarding how the State of Ohio and Ohio State University came to be, but we can certainly take steps to honestly acknowledge that history, including those who were wronged in the process, and begin to make amends in meaningful ways. This is ultimately the greatest challenge any person, organization or society faces, to step out of our comfort zones and step up purposefully to take responsibility and reconcile injustices to the extent possible. Future Buckeyes would expect nothing less as they look back on our efforts to address this situation today.”