It was a historic moment.
In 2003, President Ruth Simmons charged faculty and students with exploring Brown’s relationship with slavery. One outgrowth of this charge was a commitment to advance research on the topic through the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ), which was officially established in 2014.
“[Research] must evolve as new information comes to light and the winds of justice shift direction,” Simmons said at the center's dedication. In a highly prescient moment, she also noted that there is “little evidence that slavery in its current forms will soon disappear.”
Four years later, the center's robust work falls under two of the research themes laid out in the University's current strategic plan: Creating Peaceful, Just, and Prosperous Societies and Exploring Human Experience.
From acknowledgement to institutional leadership
Under the leadership of inaugural director B. Anthony Bogues, the Asa Messer Professor of Humanities of Critical Theory and Professor of Africana Studies, the CSSJ has instituted an ambitious plan to expand its contributions to the dialogue about historical and modern-day slavery. The goal is to translate its vital research into community impact in its core areas: the Global Curatorial Project, human trafficking, examining the American criminal justice system, race and medicine, and race and education.