Major New Program Aimed a Combating Racism in South Africa and the United States

columbia-blueColumbia University in New York City has announced the establishment of the Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity program. The new 10-year, $60 million program funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies, will combat anti-Black racism in the United States and the Republic of South Africa.

The non-residential program, hosted by Columbia University, will support 350 fellows over its 10-year lifespan, annually supporting up to 35 fellows from the United States and South Africa.

“Universities have an essential role to play in addressing the enduring challenges of race and racism in our society,” said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. “We have made the commitment to building a diverse, inclusive and just society a core value at Columbia. So we are especially proud to join with The Atlantic Philanthropies and an impressive group of partner organizations in this innovative effort to train a generation of future leaders for a new and necessary civil rights movement.”

alondra_nelson“This initiative is dedicated not only to understanding our past, but to illuminating the problems of the present, and imagining a better future for all,” said Alondra Nelson, dean of social science and professor of sociology at Columbia University, who will serve as faculty lead to the Atlantic Fellows program. “Columbia will bring its deep commitment to research, teaching and civic engagement to this partnership and is excited to engage Atlantic Fellows with faculty, students, and the broader community in the urgent work of envisioning and cultivating more just societies.”

Professor Nelson is a sociologist, who was written extensively about the intersection of science, technology, medicine, and inequality. She joined the faculty at Columbia in 2009 after teaching in the departments of African American studies and sociology at Yale University from 2002 to 2009.

Dr. Nelson is the author of the award-winning book, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination (University of Minnesota Press, 2011). She is also an editor of Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History  (Rutgers University Press, 2012) and Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life (New York University Press, 2001).

Dr. Nelson is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of California at San Diego. She holds a Ph.D. in American studies from New York University.

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