Rutgers University Names Campus Directors for the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice

The Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers has named four of the university’s most distinguished academic scholars in civil rights, history, literature, and creative writing as directors of campus branches across the university. The institute also launched a postdoctoral program supporting research in anti-racism and social inequality.

The directors, who will lead the institute’s work at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Rutgers University-Newark and Rutgers University-Camden, will use humanistic theories, methods and approaches to study global issues of race and social justice. The members of the leadership team will oversee institute research projects in such areas as policy reform, K-12 education, social justice work, public health, and criminal justice, and help inspire a new generation gravitating toward social justice and inclusiveness.

Three of the four directors are African Americans.

Erica Armstrong Dunbar, the Charles and Mary Beard Distinguished Professor of History in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University, was appointed the New Brunswick campus director of the university’s Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice. A social historian, Professor Dunbar also serves as the national director of the Association of Black Women Historians. She is the author of A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City (Yale University Press, 2008).

Professor Dunbar is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at Columbia University in New York City.

Elise Boddie, a Henry Rutgers professor, professor of law, and Judge Robert L. Carter Scholar at Rutgers Law School in Newark, was appointed the Newark campus director of the institute. She is the former chief litigator for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. Her scholarship explores the regulation of race in spatial contexts and dynamic systems that perpetuate racial inequality.

Professor Boddie is a graduate of Yale University. She holds a master’s degree in public policy and a juris doctorate from Harvard University.

Gregory Pardlo was named co-director of the institute at the Camden campus. He is an associate professor of creative writing and director of the master of fine arts program in the department of English. Pardlo won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2015.

Professor Pardlo has a master of fine arts degree in poetry from New York University and a master of fine arts in nonfiction from Columbia University.


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