Mellon Foundation Awards $4 Million to Launch Race Studies Centers

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Yale University has announced a $4 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of programs that center questions of race in humanities teaching and scholarship at four universities.

The Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM), in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA) at Brown University, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC) at the University of Chicago, and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) at Stanford University, will work to institutionalize the study of race in the humanities on all four campuses. With the support of an earlier Mellon Foundation grant, the centers' leaders have collaborated over the past year "to assure that race studies centers will in fact be indisputably 'central' to and fully merged with the humanities on each of our campuses within four years, and that they will have a higher profile as sites of innovative research, teaching, and community engagement."

With the new grant, the centers will take steps to advance faculty research and teaching, revise undergraduate and graduate curricula, engage with public audiences, and formalize cross-campus collaborations. Faculty and staff at the four universities are already planning programs, courses, and events designed to address how race shapes social dynamics and cultural expressions in the United States and elsewhere.

"It is rare to see four universities come together in this way for a common purpose," said Stephen Pitti, director of RITM and a professor of history, American studies, and ethnicity, race, and migration. "But our centers share a commitment to using humanities methodologies to explore how race has shaped the modern world, and we believe that we can best advance scholarship and teaching, and best transform our universities and the broader academy, through collaboration."

(Photo credit: Yale University)