By learning from our past, we help shape a better future.

Issues surrounding the structural persistence of racial inequality and various legacies of slavery have recently come dramatically into focus. How can we investigate and understand the depths and complexities of racism—and anti-Black racism in particular? How are the legacies of slavery still embedded in our societal institutions today? Together, how can we use our knowledge in service to justice?

Brown is committed to tackling the most challenging issues of our time. At the heart of this work is a commitment to a fearless questioning of how the past has shaped our present moment in history and using that knowledge to build a better future.

Join fellow alumni for this special community-building opportunity to learn from Brown’s leading scholars who will illuminate ​​the work of two of Brown's preeminent research centers: the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA) and the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ). The centers’ innovative approach to knowledge creation weaves rigorous academic research with artistic endeavors and humanities projects that engage people in reflection and dialogue about race and ethnicity, slavery, and the unjust legacies impacting our present. Through these endeavors, CSREA and CSSJ are helping to shift our societal narratives, creating paths of understanding that make a more just world possible. 

Provost Richard M. Locke will facilitate a conversation with CSSJ Director B. Anthony Bogues ADE'02 hon. and CSREA Director Tricia Rose AM'87 PhD'93, P'14, addressing how the work of the centers is shaping our society’s understanding of the issue of race, the legacy of slavery, and the process of reconciling with the past. 

Brown is in a unique position to address the most pressing issues of our time. 

By helping to unravel some of today’s contentious and complex questions through scholarly research and open dialogue, the University is deeply committed to producing knowledge through research and contributing to meaningful change. We hope you will join together with others in the Brown community as we delve into the complex issue of race in our society, open our minds to new ideas, and expand our own knowledge on this critical topic. 

“ By opening the door, our universities can fulfill with new vigor their obligation to be a venue where the most vexed questions facing society can be debated, discussed, and moved forward. ”

President Emerita Ruth Simmons LHD'12 hon. at the Reflecting on Slavery and Justice at Brown event on November 12, 2021

About the speakers

Anthony Bogues, Director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice

Anthony Bogues is the Asa Messer Professor of Humanities and Professor of Africana Studies. He is also a faculty fellow at the Watson Institute. He is considered to be a major figure in the field of Africana intellectual history and political theory and one of the leading intellectual historians of the Caribbean. Professor Bogues is the author of four books, and four edited volumes, and has written numerous articles in the fields of intellectual history, political thought, literary and cultural studies as well as Caribbean and African Art. Some of his books are Caliban’s Freedom: The Early Political Thought of C.L.R. James (1997); Black Heretics and Black Prophets: Radical Political Intellectuals (2003); Empire of Liberty: Power, Freedom and Desire (2010); and Art, Loas & History: The Art of Haiti (2018). He is currently working on an intellectual biography of Syliva Wynter.

Tricia Rose, Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America

Tricia Rose is Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies, Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives, and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. She specializes in 20th century African-American culture and politics, social thought, popular culture, and gender issues. She is the author of Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (1994), Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk about Sexuality and Intimacy (2003), and The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop and Why It Matters (2008). She is currently writing a book on systemic racism in America. 


About the moderator

Richard M. Locke, Provost of Brown and Schreiber Family Professor of Political Science and Public and International Affairs 

Prior to joining Brown in 2013 as the director of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Richard Locke had been a member of the MIT faculty for 25 years, including serving as chair of the Political Science Department and deputy dean in the Sloan School of Management. Provost Locke is an internationally respected scholar and authority on international labor relations and worker rights, comparative political economy, and corporate responsibility. His most recent work focuses on the impact of new technologies on the workplace and workforce of the future.


About the centers

The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA) was established in 1986 as one of the nation’s earliest academic centers dedicated to research, scholarship, and academic exchanges on issues of race and ethnicity. CSREA supports and generates rigorous and accessible research, performance, art, and scholarship on a broad range of pressing issues related to race and ethnicity to help build greater understanding and a more just world.

As a research and programming unit, CSREA’s charge is two-fold. First, to support scholarly research among faculty and advanced students and to extend research networks for scholars on campus and beyond. Second, to host academics and artists as well as pundits and critical thinkers external to Brown who address not only timely and cutting-edge research topics, but also persistent and pressing issues regarding race, ethnicity, and/or indigeneity in society.

The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ) at Brown University is a scholarly research center with a public humanities mission. Recognizing that racial slavery was central to the historical formation of the Americas and the modern world, the CSSJ creates a space for the interdisciplinary study of the historical forms of slavery, race, and various forms of domination while examining how these legacies continue to shape our contemporary world. The center’s work is organized around a series of research clusters, public history and art projects, seminars, and various public engagement initiatives that drive our scholarly and public humanities focus.

As a scholarly research center CSSJ’s work is focused on tackling the foundational historical and contemporary questions which face the nation and therefore the University. The center is the only such institution of its kind in the American academy and has built a portfolio of important collaborative projects with institutions around the world such as Firelight Films; the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History & Culture; the Institute of Social History (Netherlands) and the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD) at the University of Johannesburg, to name a few.