Racial Justice

While problems of police brutality and broader challenges of systemic racism are ingrained in the nation’s DNA, more recent phenomena—such as the use of technology to document said violence, the rise of social movements and digital campaigns to advocate for Black lives, and the growth of intersectionality in civil society amongst immigrant rights, queer liberation, and racial justice movements—have catapulted these issues to the fore. 

As we continue the centuries-long journey of tackling racial injustice in the United States, the Carr Center for Human Rights Racial Justice program focuses on reimagining systems, institutions, and movements to promote racial and economic equity for all. The program strengthens discourse connecting domestic civil rights to global human rights frameworks, and brings together faculty, fellows, students, and the broader University community to collaborate.
 

News and Announcements

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Upcoming Events

2021 Apr 16

Social Justice Leaders Series led by Dr. Keisha N. Blain

Registration Closed 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

This webinar series, curated by Carr Center Fellow Keisha N. Blain, will feature social justice leaders working at the local, national, and international level. The series will highlight the work of leaders of color who are actively challenging racism and advancing human rights.

Panelists:

  • Dr. Uché Blackstock | Founder and CEO, Advancing Health Equity
  • Dr. Keisha N. Blain (Moderator) | Associate Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh; Fellow, Carr Center

...

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2021 Apr 23

'Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019' Panel Discussion

1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

Join the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and the Hutchins Center for African American Research for a panel discussion on Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019. Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. The editors, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Dr. Keisha N. Blain (Carr Center Fellow), have assembled ninety brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that four-hundred-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal...

Read more about 'Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019' Panel Discussion
2021 May 19

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

1:00pm to 2:30pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

May 31, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, when a violent white mob nearly destroyed the formerly thriving and prosperous African American community in the Greenwood district of Tulsa (also known as Black Wall Street). Over 300 African Americans were killed, and thousands were displaced. Hundreds of homes and businesses burned to the ground. In the decades since this occurred, the massacre was covered up, local officials obstructed the redevelopment of Greenwood, and the local chapter of the KKK became one of the largest in the U.S.

Join us for a...

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Select Publications

We Need a Racial Reckoning to Save Democracy

Citation:

Megan Ming Francis and Deepak Bhargava. 2/17/2021. “We Need a Racial Reckoning to Save Democracy.” The Nation. Read the article.
We Need a Racial Reckoning to Save Democracy

Abstract:

The crisis of American democracy that burst into view on January 6 is rooted in our country’s long history of racism. To begin the work of repair, President Biden issued executive orders undoing many of the policies of the Trump administration and breaking new ground, like ending private prison contracts and embedding racial equity analysis in the federal bureaucracy. As important and welcome as these actions are, they are not enough. A crucial mistake recurs in American history: trying to move forward without reckoning honestly with injustice. We have an opportunity to break this pattern of forgetting. Remembrance and repair are not just morally necessary—they are the keys to saving our fragile multiracial democracy. Here we offer a plan to undertake that vital work.

Read the article. 

: Megan Ming Francis & Deepak Bhargava | Feb 17 2021
: We must undergo a truth and reconciliation process in order to establish a new civic consensus.

Black Lives Matter protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful, our research finds

Citation:

Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman. 10/20/2020. “Black Lives Matter protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful, our research finds.” The Spokesman Review. Read the article.
Black Lives Matter protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful, our research finds

Abstract:

When the Department of Homeland Security released its Homeland Threat Assessment earlier this month, it emphasized that self-proclaimed white supremacist groups are the most dangerous threat to U.S. security. But the report misleadingly added that there had been “over 100 days of violence and destruction in our cities,” referring to the anti-racism uprisings of this past summer.

In fact, the Black Lives Matter uprisings were remarkably nonviolent. When there was violence, very often police or counterprotesters were reportedly directing it at the protesters.

Read the article. 

: Erica Chenoweth et al. | Oct 20 2020
: Research shows the Black Lives Matters protests were extraordinarily nonviolent, and extraordinarily nondestructive, given the unprecedented size of the movement’s participation and geographic scope.

Defunding the Police Might Leave Americans More Surveilled and Less Secure

Defunding the Police Might Leave Americans More Surveilled and Less Secure

Full Text

Over the summer, while announcing the disbanding of a controversial plainclothes unit of the New York City Police Department after weeks of Black Lives Matter protests, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea referred to the need for “21st-century policing” that would use a range of technological tools—ShotSpotter (a sensor system that estimates the location of gunfire), video, DNA, and more—instead of “brute force.” Reliance on such technologies could become the norm as calls for police reform—in particular, the defunding of the police—take root around the country. However, making such changes without adequate public oversight could result in Black people being surveilled and controlled even further.

Read the article. 

: Sushma Raman | Aug 25 2020
: Technology in policing might appear more benign than rogue cops or racist judges, but a look at global trends gives pause.
Last updated on 04/13/2021
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