UPP’s Racial Justice Working Group is pleased to announce What Does an Anti-racist Department Look Like?, a virtual (via Zoom) community-wide conversation on Friday, November 20, 2020, 6:00-8:00 pm, to which all members of the department—students (graduate as well as undergraduate Urban Studies majors), faculty, alums, and staff—are invited.

Hosted and moderated by Racial Justice Working Group members Dr. Calvin T. Brown (MUP 2002) and Amina Hassen (MUP 2016), What Does an Anti-racist Department Look Like? offers a space for students and alums to identify and discuss goals for the department in the arenas of racial justice and anti-racism, with a view to developing a shared analysis, set of values, and vision for UPP, along with ideas, plans, and tools for advancing change.

What Does an Anti-racist Department Look Like? will begin with a short presentation to share efforts already underway at the college and in the department in a range of areas. Next, participants will move into small group breakout rooms moderated by Brown and Hassen, and student Working Group members Hafizah Omar (MSUPL) and Lorrayne (Lola) Vieira-Sullivan (MUP), to discuss concerns about, and aspirations for, the department. The event will conclude with a community-wide “shareback,” in which each of the small groups voice their ideas to the larger community, including faculty.

Registration for the event is now open by clicking this link. All students, faculty, alums, and staff planning to attend are asked to sign up there by Nov. 16. Details about the event’s Zoom room will be circulated only to those who have registered.

In advance of the event, the Working Group also invites all who plan to attend to take a moment to fill out this survey, also by Nov. 16, to share preliminary thoughts and questions.

The Racial Justice Working Group was convened in September 2020 by department chair Prof. Joseph P. Viteritti, in consultation with the department’s governing body, the faculty, and GUAPA, in response to systemic racial injustice, the need to reaffirm UPP’s commitment to anti-racist practices, and the specific concerns of many in the UPP community around departmental priorities, procedures, and pedagogy.

The group—Professors John Chin (chair), Matthew Lasner, Karina Moreno, Lily Pollans, and Sigmund Shipp; students Omar and Vieira-Sullivan; and alums Brown and Hassen—met four times in October to plan What Does an Anti-racist Department Look Like?, which is the first of several activities the group plans to host this academic year. Future events, on topics to be determined in response to this first event, will take place in the spring semester.