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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

Black Bodies, Black Health wins Award of Distinction at the 30th Annual Communicator Awards

We are thrilled to share the news that our book, Black Bodies, Black Health (a visual archive chronicling our 18-month research project supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) has won the Award of Distinction in the Educational Institution Print Content category at the 30th Annual Communicator Awards! 

This award is presented to projects that exceed industry standards in quality and achievement and recognizes excellence, effectiveness, and innovation across all areas of communication. They are the leading international awards program honoring talent in this highly competitive field celebrating three decades of impactful communication across industries and mediums.

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Just Takes

We're pleased and excited to announce the launch of "Just Takes," our new Op-Ed/thought piece/writing initiative at the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice.

We encourage our affiliated-faculty and Rutgers Researchers on Race to submit pieces of writing of 500 words or less pitched to orient their research towards a more public audience and/or as relevant for a current issue in the broad area of global racial justice. 

Please click below to access the Just Takes corner on our website and read our next featured writing piece by Cherita Harrell, Associate Artist for the Quilting Water Public Arts project at ISGRJ–Camden!


#RUCourageous Call for Submissions 

We are excited to announce the launch of the #RUCourageous initiative, led by our Fellows in Racial Justice (RAJU) Learning Community from the Office of Undergraduate Intellectual Life (OUIL). This social action project, open to all students, faculty, and staff across Rutgers University aims to amplify diverse voices and shed light on the intricate dynamics of race within our campus community. 

Your experiences, perspectives, and reflections matter. Whether you have encountered instances of discrimination, found resilience in the face of racism, or have reflected on the complexities of identity, we invite you to share your story with us. 

By participating in this initiative, you will not only contribute to a collective dialogue about race, but will also be eligible and entered to win the Lomench Endowment Award. We believe that through storytelling, we can foster understanding, empathy, and meaningful change. Your voice matters, and together, we can work towards building a more just, equitable, and inclusive Rutgers University. 

Extended deadline: June 19, 2024

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The Quilting Water Undergraduate Prize

We're pleased to announce the final, collaborative project from our 2024 Quilting Water Undergraduate Prize winners! 

The student-artists from across Rutgers University joined a vibrant community of artists and scholars to think and collaborate at the intersection of ecological and racial justice and were mentored by renowned artist LaTasha Diggs during the Spring 2024 semester. This second cohort produced a poetry, sound, and photography collection called "Submerged" as their final project.

Guided by their individual relationships with water, the student-artists wrote a series of connecting poems in various styles. In addition to their original written works, this collection also contains voiceovers with original backing tracks composed by Papa Mbahwe (Rutgers-New Brunswick) and photography by Ryan Rivera (Rutgers-Camden).

Congratulations to these exemplary student-artists on their transformative work as the second cohort of the Rutgers Quilting Water Undergraduate Prize! They join a vibrant group of thinkers and makers who form the growing community of the ISGRJ. 

Pictured: (Top L to R) Hagar Ezzo (Rutgers-Camden), Ryan Rivera (Rutgers-Camden) and Papa Mbahwe (Rutgers-NB). (Bottom L to R) Sophia Wyllie (Rutgers-NB), Cass Guinto (Rutgers-Newark), and Salma Abedullah (Rutgers-Newark)

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Congratulations to our Graduate Research Assistants!

We're proud to highlight the recent accomplishments of our ISGRJ graduate research assistants! These impressive young scholars form part of a stellar digital humanities research team, integral to the development of our university wide initiatives, programs and projects. They contribute to the Institute’s overall direction and vision regarding the need for a humanistic, interdisciplinary, systems approach to examining racialization and racism, across such areas of inquiry as the literary, visual, and performative arts, K–12 education, public health, criminal justice, social justice, public policy, research and professional mentorship and pedagogy. 

Congratulations to you all!

Pictured (L to R): Maria Elizabeth Rodriguez Beltran (2024 Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, Rutgers-New Brunswick), Isabel Guzzardo Tamargo (2024 Ph.D. in English, specializing in Caribbean literature, Rutgers-New Brunswick), Lindsey Hoover (2024 Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Rutgers-Camden), Aditya Jonnalagadda (2024 Master of Science in Computer Science, Rutgers-New Brunswick, offered a position at Google in Mountain View, CA), and Kaitlyn Rich (ISGRJ Multimedia Research Assistant and Digital Archive Developer who was accepted to the Rutgers Ph.D. program in Communication, Information, and Media and Library Information Science at Rutgers-New Brunswick, commencing in fall 2024). 

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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.