Multi-university partnership nets US$4m grant for race and ethnicity studies

SOURCE: Dylan Gillis/Unsplash
The partnership combines university research centres to advocate discussions on race in humanities studies.

By U2B Staff 

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The Yale Centre for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM) is part of a US$4 million funded multi-university partnership to advance the inclusion of race and ethnicity in humanities studies. 

The partnership, which involves RITM in collaboration with the Bridging Centre for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA) at Brown University, the Centre for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC) at the University of Chicago, the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) at Stanford University, received a US$4 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The partnership will advance efforts to institutionalise the study of race in humanities courses on all four campuses. 

This has been in the pipeline for over a year with the leaders of the four centres conducting frequent meetings to discuss the scholarship on race in the humanities and arts in both undergraduate and graduate education, shared administrative challenges and faculty support. 


These discussions led the group to the development of the new partnership to affirm the critical importance of race for all fields in humanities studies. 

“We are working to assure that race studies centres will, in fact, be indisputably ‛central’ to and fully merged with the humanities on each of our campuses within four years, and that they will have a higher profile as sites of innovative research, teaching, and community engagement,” noted the centres’ directors in a media release. 

Thanks to the support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the four centres will take new steps to advance faculty research and teaching, revise undergraduate and graduate curricula, engage with public audiences, and formalise cross-campus collaborations. 

race and ethnicity studies
This is a great opportunity for universities to create a network of collaboration. Source: Mikael Kristenson/Unsplash.

“It is rare to see four universities come together in this way for a common purpose,” said RITM director and professor of history, American studies, and ethnicity, race, and migration Stephen Pitti. 

“But our centres share a commitment to using humanities methodologies to explore how race has shaped the modern world, and we believe that we can best advance scholarship and teaching, and best transform our universities and the broader academy, through collaboration.”

“In a short time, RITM has proven to be a transformative, multidisciplinary academic centre that produces cutting-edge scholarship related to race, ethnicity, and other aspects of social identity,” said Yale University President Peter Salovey. 

“We are delighted that this grant recognizes the centre’s ambitious work and will allow more Yale faculty and students to devote their studies to these important issues.”


Plans are already in the works by faculty and staff of the four universities for various programmes, courses, and events that address how race shapes social dynamics and cultural expressions in the United States and beyond. 

With the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, centre directors expect the start of new collaborative relationships within the academic network on race in humanities. 

The funding will spark new and revolutionary research projects, lectures and seminars, programmes for non-academic audiences, and other networking opportunities to connect with other like-minded colleges and universities.