Editorial | Center fosters critical research and discussion
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 01:10
Today, Tufts launches the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD) after its 2012 establishment by founding Director Peniel Joseph, a professor in the Department of History. The center is a dynamic addition to the Hill, as it will foster dialogue on poignant, race-related issues and offer various research opportunities for both students and faculty. The racial, social and political issues brought to light by the center are important subjects to explore, especially for a research university such as Tufts.
With the recent addition of Africana and Asian American studies to Tufts curricula, the university has expanded the potential for students to engage with these subject areas in the classroom. But for those who are pursuing majors and concentrations in other fields, education on these issues may be harder to come by. The allocation of resources to the launching of the CSRD is a strong step toward providing all students on the Hill with the opportunity to educate themselves on pressing race-related issues.
Many professors on campus have studied and continue to study race-related issues closely, and many are working on research that would be of interest to much of the student body. The center creates an environment where students and faculty can come together to discuss, research and spread the word about relevant social and political matters. Moreover, the center, which serves to fuse racial and political studies, is a multi-disciplinary undertaking, allowing a broad spectrum of people to contribute to the discussion.
Race and democracy obviously have an impact on students on campus, so it is extremely useful and beneficial to have the center as a means to research relevant topics on a deeper level. The center has already utilized different forms of communication and learning, such as movie screenings, lectures and brown-bag lunches, to appeal to the diverse interests of students on campus.
The CSRD is progressive and innovative. It is creating opportunities, through the Gerald Gill Fellows program, for students to be at the forefront of research on race and democracy and to stimulate wide-reaching dialogues on these topics. The center serves an important purpose, and Tufts students should take advantage of such a valuable and relevant resource.