UMass Dartmouth receives $150K grant to help bolster workforce readiness

DARTMOUTH – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and partners Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Mass., and the University of Massachusetts School of Law were awarded a $150,000 Higher Education Innovation Fund grant from Gov. Charlie Baker’s office to help increase workforce readiness in justice-related occupations within southeastern Massachusetts.

The grant, UMass Dartmouth said, will be used to research and gather evidence-based data toward creating a multicampus curriculum for a transformative justice certification program. The initiative will help higher education institutions implement training and certification for transformative justice practitioners.

The collaboration between UMass Dartmouth, Massasoit and UMass School of Law hopes to produce education opportunities to create new ideas within criminology, criminal justice and justice studies research, UMass Dartmouth said.

“We are amid the largest social movement in the history of the United States. Needs and demands for true justice are not going away,” said Viviane Saleh-Hanna, principal investigator on the grant and chairperson of UMass Dartmouth’s Crime and Justice Studies department, in a statement. “[A] Transformative Justice Practitioner’s Certificate would offer an innovative response that higher education in this region can contribute towards meeting those needs.”

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James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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