March 20, 2022
Dear CSREA Community,
The past two years have been a profound challenge, to say the least. As I write to you, we continue to contend with one of the greatest health-related global crises in modern memory. Although we have not yet tallied the societywide destruction it has left in its wake, we can safely say that the impact of COVID-19 has been devastating. And, a range of other crises, in particular the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others served as profound catalysts for a painful reckoning in American society with the continued violence and institutionalization of anti-Black racism.
At Brown, as was the case on many University campuses, we all had to figure out how to adjust to these new and turbulent conditions while continuing to educate, take care of our students, ourselves and the people around us, build community, and support research. At CSREA, we really took this challenge to heart. We felt strongly that this was an especially important time for us to be timely, relevant, and accessible.
Through those adjustments, we’ve found new ways of reaching and engaging communities that were left behind by the status quo. During the academic year, we hosted a record-breaking number of events and programs, more than we have ever mounted before. In addition to our many established programs, we created new ones designed to help us make sense of the dizzying world around us. These programs were designed specifically for virtual viewing such as Underlying Conditions, short video interviews on COVID-related inequities, and Race & in America, a Brown faculty panel series exploring the impacts of racism on a range of research and creative areas from genetics, to democracy, to the arts.
This work is always due to the incredible, dedicated staff at CSREA. Nothing would happen without their expertise, creativity, and goodwill. But this year, they deserve even more appreciation for what they accomplished under such enormous pressure.
Joy + Justice,
Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America
Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies
Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives
P.S. The work of the Center requires resources and sustained financial support. As a funding priority in the BrownTogether campaign, CSREA is poised to become a more generative force in fueling the discovery of new modes of thinking by faculty, artists, and community leaders on the most pressing social, political, and cultural concerns in contemporary society. We hope you’ll consider supporting our work.