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Black Thriving Institute: Anti-Blackness, Racial Justice and Slavery

The purpose of the Black Thriving Institute is to harness the research and creative capacity of the campus to advance transformational change. Organized around anti-Blackness, racial justice and slavery, the Institute will support interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary activity to both understand the Black experience and promote the drivers of well-being in Black communities. Through the interrogation of these broad themes, the Institute will consciously encompass a broad cross-section of intersectional identities and comparative experiences. These foci will span from class, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, immigrant and immigration status, to sexual orientation, among others.  The geographical scope of the Institute’s activities also will explore how anti-Blackness, racial justice and slavery implicate and shape human histories, contemporary realities and futures of nation-states, cultures and communities, and people within  and in relation to the African diaspora.

The Black Thriving Institute will provide three critical functions in carrying out its purpose:

1) Convening scholars and researchers as well as thought leaders

2) Elevating attention and intensifying focus on the Black experience and drivers of well-being

3) Engaging and partnering with communities to advance a thriving society

The structure of the Black Thriving Institute will include existing centers that align with the purpose of the Institute as well as affiliated organizations. Led by a senior faculty director, the advisory board will include representatives from partner centers, affiliated organizations and at-large members. Among the principle activities of the director and the advisory board is to identify an annual theme or set of themes and mount supporting programmatic activities for the campus and community through partner centers and affiliated units, and/or funded or co-sponsored faculty activities.