CSRPC Welcomes New Department of Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity

A testament to students and community activism

Following decades of student and community activism, including UChicago United and #EthnicStudiesNow, and the efforts of faculty affiliates involved in the multi-year campaign, More than Diversity (#MTD), the Council of the University Senate of the University of Chicago voted to create a new Department of Race, Diaspora and Indigeneity on February 22, 2022. The CSRPC is excited to witness this historic founding of the new department of Race, Diaspora and Indigeneity in the Social Science Division and look forward to its presence at the University of Chicago. Departmentalization is a crucial and momentous step in supporting scholarship and training on race, politics, and culture at the University, and the innovative design of juxtaposing race, diaspora, and indigeneity--concepts and practices that have evolved in tandem with the modern world—has the potential to offer new paradigms for thinking across a constellation of conversant fields, including disciplines that have been established according to area, racial identity, or ethnicity.  

The Department of Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity is the fourth academic department created at the University of Chicago in the last decade. Next steps will include the appointment of a department chair and appointments of UChicago faculty who will join the new department. The CSRPC will also welcome several visiting scholars working in Native and Indigenous Studies; many of whom will be teaching classes. There will also be faculty-taught classes on Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity beginning in the 2022-23 academic year. While there are no immediate changes to the CRES major/minor requirements, CRES will gradually phase out. The faculty committee of the new department is committed to engaging majors and creating a structure for student input and feedback. Once some of the logistics are in place, there will be opportunities for undergraduates and especially current CRES majors to discuss the vision for RDI, including proposals for a structure that allows student feedback. 

The CSRPC envisions a strong relationship with the department, as the Center continues to serve as a research and programmatic meeting ground for faculty, staff and students across the University and partners with community leaders and civic organizations in Chicago’s southside and beyond. We are thrilled to welcome the Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity department as an exciting strategic and collaborative partner that will strengthen and enhance our work as related yet distinct entities.