On October 21st, CONNECT’s Board Chair, Dr. Laura Douglas, President, Bristol Community College, received notification from Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and Carlos Santiago that CONNECT had been awarded $150k in Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) grants to advance equity initiatives throughout the region. In September 2022, CONNECT partners submitted a grant to the Department of Higher Education which proposed to provide professional learning opportunities for higher education faculty, staff, and student workers that aligns with the Department of Higher Education’s 10-year racial equity plan. With the award of these HEIF grant funds, one hundred participants from five of CONNECT’s member IHEs will participate in a year-long Train the Trainer model designed to align policies, procedures, and practices among our institutions. In July 2022, CONNECT established that the DHE’s 10-year racial equity plan would be a critical priority for each of its institutions to collectively prioritize through CONNECT’s communities of practice. These HEIF funds will be used to advance this work throughout the upcoming year. We are extremely grateful for the award of these funds!