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Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice

Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice

Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice


Video: Murals for Justice, DreamPlay Media


“It all comes back to how we think about ourselves and others. The need to redefine the concept of being human and move toward global racial justice begins by understanding and addressing the ways we resist recognizing people who live under different circumstances than our own.”   

— Michelle Stephens, Founding and Executive Director

Envisioning Justice

The Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice is a conduit for new knowledge and ideas, providing opportunities for Rutgers faculty whose inquiries address racism and social inequality to work collaboratively and effect meaningful action and positive change. In bringing together scholars from multiple humanities disciplines across Rutgers—from law to language, from philosophy to art, from history to gender studies—the institute serves as a universitywide intellectual corridor that escalates the likelihood that their explorations and findings will inform real-world decisions, providing solutions to problems that have been increasingly thrust into sharp focus in the United States and around the globe.

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Moving in the Local while Mapping Oneself in the Global 


“I think of what we’ve been doing as a process that has been slow but also very vitalizing. Moving in the local while mapping oneself in the global. And to my mind that is what the mission of this Institute is” 

— Michelle Stephens, Founding and Executive Director

Watch our Evergreen Video: An Emblem of our Founding, Mission and Who We Are

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ISGRJ Evergreen Video

Rutgers Observes Black History Month 2024

Students, faculty and staff will celebrate Black History Month with a wide range of cultural and educational activities across the university, including screenings, performances and lectures, some hosted virtually in addition to being held in-person.


Announcing our new Acting Institute Director

We're pleased to announce that Dr. Carlos Ulises Decena has been appointed Acting Director for the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice for 2024! 

Carlos is the current Cross-Campus Director of Undergraduate Intellectual Life at the ISGRJ leading our Office of Undergraduate Intellectual Life (OUIL) and Fellows in Racial Justice Learning Community (RAJU). He is also Professor of Latino and Caribbean Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. An interdisciplinary scholar of immigration and queer studies, his research explores the meeting points of Black, ethnic, and area studies.

Carlos Decena Headshot 2023 FINAL

Rutgers Launches Series to Meet the Moment With Humanity Amid Rising Tensions

The “Meet the Moment” campaign, introduced and facilitated by Rutgers University Equity and Inclusion includes two universitywide series – one featuring documentary films, other speaker-led discussions – both designed to facilitate civil discourse at Rutgers between students, staff and faculty.

The campaign also introduces our community commitments that reaffirm the importance of building an inclusive community and remind us that we all have a role to play.


Announcing our New Cohort of Fellows in Racial Justice!

We're delighted to announce our new cohort of Fellows in Racial Justice (RAJU) for 2023-2024! 

The Fellows in Racial Justice Learning Community, launched under the ISGRJ Office of Undergraduate Intellectual Life (OUIL) is an unprecedented program spanning Rutgers University—Newark, Rutgers University—New Brunswick and Rutgers University—Camden which brings together undergraduate students who are passionate about social justice activism and who will pursue projects to renew, enrich, and maximize on-going racial justice efforts on campus to impact social change locally and globally.

Congratulations to the new cohort of RAJU Fellows! 

Maria Loo (RU-Newark), Corey Saunders (RU-Newark), Jilary Guaman Calle (RU-Newark), Cass Guinto (RU-Newark), Rana Seabrook (RU-Newark)

Varenya Alvakonda (RU-NB), Anika Chopra (RU-NB), Herrin Fontenette (RU-NB), Renelyn Sevilla (RU-NB), Azinwi Numfor (RU-NB)

Grace Asare (RU-Camden), Samira Lari (RU-Camden), Freideliz Perez (RU-Camden), Imani Cooper (RU-Camden

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The Race and Gender Equity (RAGE) Lab presents Plait/Form: A RAGE Lab Black Feminist Public Works Incubator

What does Black feminism look like in public? Plait/Form, the inaugural Black Feminist Public Works Incubator offered by the Race and Gender Equity (RAGE) Lab at Rutgers University supports writers, academics, and content creators who are seeking to answer this question by doing Black feminist work in creative and publicly accessible ways.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: May 30th – June 1st 2024 Summer Intensive

This two-day intensive session will include master classes with Black feminist public scholars and thinkers, opportunities to meet agents, editors, and philanthropists, and group-based executive coaching designed to help you move your project to the next stage of implementation. At the end of the workshop, you will complete an implementation plan and present it to the group.

We are especially interested in beginning or intermediate-stage projects that center Black feminist ideas.

Application Deadline: March 1, 11:59pm ET, 2024

RAGE Plait Form 50-50 FULL (FINAL)

The Quilting Water Undergraduate Prize

We are pleased to announce the Call for Applications for the 2024 Quilting Water Undergraduate Prize!

The prize, open to all undergraduate students at Rutgers University will bring together a vibrant community of artists and scholars to think and collaborate at the intersection of ecological and racial justice.

Winners will have access to programming, networking and mentorship, as well as be part of a six-member team of undergraduate student-artists.  Each student-artist will receive a $1000 award. The student-artists will work collaboratively and have the opportunity to be mentored by artist LaTasha Diggs during the Spring 2024 semester. 

The application window is closed, and we will be announcing the winners soon!

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Racial Justice Events

Current Themes

● Race in the Arts and Humanities ●
● Transforming Social Justice Values into Policies ●

Upcoming Events

Join Us in the Pursuit of a Just Society. Donate.

Donors to the institute partner with faculty working together to evaluate the past, address the embedded issues of the present, and envision a more equitable future.