About the Center
Established in 2019 through seed funding from the university, the Center for Racial Justice (CRJ) aims to bring students, faculty, local communities, and invited guests together in much-needed campus-wide dialogue on race and racial justice. The purpose of this center is to serve as a vital hub for racial justice and critical race and ethnic studies that crosses divisions and brings key units – including the ethnic resource center, the Amah Mutsun Land Trust, the Educational Opportunity Program, the colleges – and campus representatives together in its dedication to racial justice on multiple scales, local, national, and international. As the center becomes established, it will serve as the face of UC Santa Cruz’s engagement with and commitment to racially just and decolonized worldviews and worldlings.
The CRJ builds on campus momentum around Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) as the fastest growing major in the Humanities Division and as a program created through student activism. The CRJ aims to capture, make visible, and build in innovative and consequential ways on growing student interest in CRES as a course of study, as well as to speak to growing student need for a centralized place that addresses questions of racial justice at a university where the majority of students are people of color. The CRJ seeks to facilitate fruitful collaborative service-learning and public humanities possibilities for students, both undergraduate and graduate. The CRJ complements and supplements the work with undergraduates being done by the ethnic resource centers, focusing on graduate student and faculty research, while also hosting events, symposia, and conferences that will speak to students. The Center traverses and brings into critical dialogue research, teaching, and activist engagement with racial justice across the divisions.