FISK UNIVERSITY LAUNCES NEW SOCIAL JUSTICE INSTITUTE
November, 7 2019
Fisk University has a long history of fighting injustice. From W.E.B. Dubois, to U.S. Representative John Lewis, students from Fisk have come together to address social problems in their communities and across the nation for decades. Fisk is now returning to its heritage of being a social justice titan in the community, and across the country by launching its Social Justice Institute.
In the forties the University launched a “think tank,” known as the Race Relations Institute. This forum encouraged social scientist, religious leaders, educators, government officials, and other notable figures to offer research and discussion on racial parity. It also created a standard method for holding a national dialog on race. Unfortunately, after many years in operation the Race Relations institute closed its doors in 2005. President Kevin D. Rome said, our new institute will allow us to reclaim our space as the social justice leaders in America. “We are building upon the mantle of our past, of The Race Relations Institute, and understanding that today it is not only racial injustices people are facing, but a myriad of social injustices across the board,” he said. This institute will help educate our scholars who are aware there are serious issues around them and are interested in making the world in which they live better.
The issues facing the country today have rekindled the University’s fire for race relations, and human rights. The Social Justice Institute will house three academic programs: AA, BA, and MA programs in Social Justice, one of only a handful across the nation. More importantly, the center aims to create the new leaders in social justice needed to transform conditions in this country. University Provost Dr. Vann Newkirk said, “We are educating a cadre of young scholars who will help rectify the challenges of today’s changing world. This will be an institute that responds to all the issues that come out of social injustices.”
On November 8 & 9, the University will launch the social justice institute with a series of thought-provoking presentations by leading activists Ilyasah Shabazz and Rel Dowdell. This event will be the first in what will be an annual event that will create the framework for shaping dialog that will bring about the changes needed to make America true bastion of equality and justice for all.