Pitt's Commitment to Social Justice

The University of Pittsburgh remains committed to providing ongoing opportunities for dialogue that promote unity, equality, and justice. Please take advantage of these various programs to continue the important work of building an inclusive, caring Pitt community that rejects ignorance, racist violence, intolerance, hatred, and oppression.

"Our mission of education and research offers a way forward through these deeply challenging times. As educator and activist Mary McLeod Bethune once wrote, 'Knowledge is the prime need of the hour.' When protests wane, it will be important to continue to intensify our critical understanding of the roots of racism, violence, and oppression." —Provost Ann E. Cudd

New events will be added to this page as they are announced. Please check back for updates.

Links to recordings and other materials are provided after the event below when available.

Upcoming Events

AFRCNA 0300 Racialized Policing Pop-Up Course
Oct. 13, Oct. 20, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, Nov. 10, and Nov. 7
all at 3 p.m.

This course provides students with an opportunity to think about the most recent wave of brutal police violence in the United States in a global perspective. Expanding on our summer series, students will focus on topics such as racial capitalism, colonialism and settler colonialism, and transnational trends in militarized policing and police violence. Students who complete the course will appreciate how policing in the USA shapes and is shaped by global processes.

Pitt-Greensburg: Growth Through Knowledge and Understanding Series

A series of six workshops and speaker events exploring diversity, social justice, racial equality, Black Lives Matter, racial justice, privilege, becoming an ally and the future.

Read about the program in "Pitt-Greensburg, Westmoreland workshops to explore racism, diversity and social justice" in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Read "Pitt–Greensburg partners with diversity coalition on speakers series" in University Times.

Social Justice and Publicly Available Data
Nov. 10
3-4 p.m.

The health of a population is significantly influenced by the environment in which they live. This workshop will utilize publicly available data sources to provide a means by which we can examine the intersection of health with income, education, pollution, housing, and healthy/risky behaviors.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Series
Offering 1: Oct. 15, 9-11 a.m.; Oct. 16, 9-11 a.m.; Oct. 19, 1-3 p.m.; Oct. 20, 1-3 p.m.
Offering 2: Dec. 10, 9-11 a.m.; Dec. 11, 9-11 a.m.; Dec. 14, 1-3 p.m.; Dec. 15, 1-3 p.m.
Note: Participants must commit to attend all sessions within set offering.

The Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences has established a diversity, equity and inclusion training series featuring anti-bias educational workshops for faculty, staff and students. Featuring interactive discussion and engaging activities, the series of four consecutive sessions—with each one building upon the previous—will establish welcoming and diverse environments. Participants will be able to engage in productive conversations about topics like identity, stereotypes and discrimination, and ultimately learn strategies that positively impact the campus climate.

Social Justice and Tech Reading Group: Rafalow's Digital Divisions
Oct. 27, Noon-1 p.m.
Nov. 13, Noon-1 p.m.

Each semester, we will engage with a recently published text that explores technology and implications on society, health and well-being. This semester, we will read Matthew Rafalow's Digital Divisions: How Schools Create Inequality in the Digital Age (University of Chicago, 2020). Join us to discuss Rafalow's exploration of racial and socio-economic dimensions of access to digital technologies in schools.

Digital Divisions: How Schools Create Inequality in the Tech Era
Nov. 17
Noon-1 p.m.
SFI Lecture with Matt Rafalow, a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley's Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society, and a social scientist at Google. Education researchers struggle with the fact that students arrive at school already shaped by their unequal childhoods. Would we see greater gains among less privileged students if they had a more level playing field? This talk draws on a comparative ethnographic study of three middle schools to address this question, focusing the case of digital technology use.

PittEd Justice Collective
The PittEd Justice Collective is a three-year working group at the School of Education that is engaged in anti-racist, justice-directed initiatives with students, staff, faculty, alumni, families, youth, and district and community partners.

White Co-Conspirators Groups
The PittEd Justice Collective will situate equity and justice within our School's internal operations, culture, climate, and academic engagements. As part of this effort, we will have several white Co-conspirators Groups led by white colleagues in our School (e.g. staff, students, and faculty). Groups will serve as forums for white people to further their learning about, and collaborations on, equity, justice, and antiracism, with the expectation that this work will lead to meaningful co-conspiring and activism. Complete a brief form and to indicate your interest »

Recent Events

CRSP Fall Institute:
Race, Politics, and Fighting Voter Suppression

Oct. 20
9 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • 10 a.m.: “Historical Lynchings and the Black Vote Today” with Dr. Jhacova Williams, Associate Economist, RAND Corporation
  • Noon: “Race, Voting, and the Major Political Parties” with Clare Malone, Senior Political Writer, FiveThirtyEight.com
  • 2 p.m.: “Voting Justice: Protecting and Engaging Voters in the 2020 Election” (panel)

Black At Work - Experiences of Race in Government and Corporate America
Oct. 23
Noon-1:30 p.m.

Join the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration and the Pitt Black MBA Network for a candid and open panel discussion regarding race in government and corporate America.  Our panelists represent multiple facets of the black professional experience.  This includes generational, gender, and sexual orientation-based differences.

Silencing the Stories from a State Reform School
Oct. 23
2-3:30 p.m.

The Department of Africana Studies in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences presents Silencing Their Stories: The Politics of Memory and Race in the Public Memorialization of a State Reform School.  This Works-in-Progress Seminar features Kaniqua Robinson, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Africana Studies with comments by Laura Lovett, Department of History, and Courtney Weikle-Mills, Department of English.

White Privilege in Information
Sept. 21, 3-4:30 p.m.
Oct. 15, 2-3:30 p.m.

Systemic structures of white privilege and power are embedded in American culture. Personal and institutional commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion demand that we examine how these structures are present in scholarly communication and information systems. Topics introduced will be wide-ranging. Examples include what is ‘valid’ research inquiry, how information is described and categorized, how search algorithms are biased, digital redlining, what kind of stories are preserved, and how scholars of color are (not) cited. Join us for an examination and discussion of these issues and more.

White Supremacism and World Politics: Present at the Creation, Persistent to Today
Oct. 15

A virtual webinar with Errol Henderson, Associate Professor of International Relations, Department of Political Science, the Pennsylvania State University. This webinar is sponsored by the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies, the Ford Institute for Human Security, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and the University Center for International Studies.

Weaponized Whiteness: Past Terrors, Present Predicaments
Oct. 16
Noon-1:30 p.m.

Seminar by Dr. Fran Shor, Wayne State University. Weaponized Whiteness by Fran Shor interrogates the meanings and implications of white supremacy and, more specifically, white identity politics from historical and sociological perspectives. By analyzing the constructions and deconstructions of white identity politics throughout U.S. history and up through the present, these collected essays provide insight into the deep roots and resonances of white identity politics and the challenges that have emerged, in particular, since the 1960s.

Lunch & Learn: Caring during COVID-19: Using data to action
Oct. 9
Noon-1 p.m.

Leveraging the experiences of University of Pittsburgh researchers, The Pittsburgh Study, and The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh as a way to explore the process of moving data to action, as Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Community PARTners staff, we will facilitate a conversation around caring during COVID-19. Specifically, we hope you all leave with an idea of best practices for engaging in university-community research relationships, including actionable steps to disrupt power in these spaces.

Engaging with Race and Racism in the Classroom
Oct. 9
2-3:30 p.m.

Addressing the historic and ongoing manifestations of systemic racism has implications not only for what we teach in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies but also for how we teach our syllabi. Join us to explore the common challenges instructors encounter as well as the pedagogical principles and methods available for teaching about race and racial justice in our field.

Transnational Dialogues in Afrolatinidad: Migration, Policing and Political Movements
Oct. 2
1-2:30 p.m.

In this webinar, panelists will explore transnational perspectives on race as they intersect with issues of migration, policing, and political movements for Afro-Latin American and U.S. Afro-Latinx populations.

Teaching About Race and Racism: Your Syllabus 2.0
Oct. 2
2-3:30 p.m.

Join us to hear from distinguished scholars and educators about methods for incorporating critical pedagogies of race into teaching about language, culture, history, and society in Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia.

Black Study Intensive
Sept. 28-Oct. 2
Read "University Community Encouraged to Join Black Study Intensive This Fall" in Pittwire
Read "Black Study Intensive will look at current issues through art" in University Times

The Legal and Social Ramifications of America’s Racial Pandemic
Sept. 29
12:30-1:30 p.m.

Join Pitt Law and the Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Social Work for the Annual Rubash Distinguished Lecture Series. William Generett, Jr. Esq., Vice President for Community Engagement at Duquesne University will discuss, "The Legal and Social Ramifications of America’s Racial Pandemic."

Race, Crime and Voting Rights: The Ongoing Battle for Democracy in Florida
Sept. 30
Noon-1 p.m.

Just weeks ago a federal appeals court issued a ruling that likely will prevent some 800,000 Floridians from voting in the November election. The decision is the latest salvo in a decades-long battle over Florida’s lifelong voting ban for anyone convicted of a felony, a law that originated as a post-Civil War strategy to prevent newly freed African Americans from voting and to this day bars one in four Black men from the polls in Florida. The resilience of this profoundly undemocratic policy, despite longstanding popular opposition, exemplifies the strength of structural racism in the United States today.

Virtual Pitt Education Alumni Lecture with Dr. Bettina L. Love:
We Want To Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching And The Pursuit Of Educational Freedom

Sept. 30
4:30-6:30 p.m.

Join Dean Valerie Kinloch and the School of Education community as we welcome Dr. Bettina L. Love to present the 2020 Pitt Education Alumni Lecture. The event is sponsored by the PittEd Justice Collective and the School of Education's Alumni and Development Office. Dr. Love is the Athletic Association Professor in Education in the University of Georgia 's Mary Frances Early's Department of Educational Theory and Practice and is the esteemed author of the book "We Want To Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching And The Pursuit Of Educational Freedom." Dr. Love is also a two-time Pitt alumna, and completed her Master of Education in our school.

Pitt-Johnstown Fraternity Sorority Life and Pitt Johnstown Program Board present:
Preacher Moss

Sept. 30
9 p.m.

Armed with sincerity, intellect, and rare comedic ability, Preacher Moss presents the “End of Racism” Comedy and Lecture Tour. With his insight on “racial understanding vs. racial interaction”, he has quickly become the funniest social commentator on the college scene today. Preacher Moss knows how to deliver the goods on how we see race through laughter, respect, and the humility of a man who felt the sting of racism for not just blacks, but whites, gays, latinos, as the poor and underclass of America.

 "Will Race Always Matter?" Presented by Dr. Larry Davis
Sept. 22
7-8 p.m.

Dr. Larry Davis, Dean Emeritus of the School of Social Work and Founding Director of the School of Race and Social Problems, speaks as part of the American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series.

Education in a Time of COVID: Safety, Access and Equity
Sept. 23
Noon-1:30 p.m.

All are welcome to join us for this installment of our town hall series—This Is Not "Normal": Allyship and Advocacy in the Age of COVID-19—which focuses on the diverse facets of our lives and communities impacted by institutional and systemic inequities and injustices that are further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live CLE:  What Happens Now? Bias, Race, and Tolerance at Work, School, and Society  
Sept. 24
12:30-1:30 p.m.

The United States is experiencing multiple change events that are exposing significant issues of race, bias, discrimination, tolerance, and disparities. There are ongoing protests and powerful calls for change. But when the protests end and attention moves on to other concerns. what happens next? In this one-hour Ethics CLE, Adelson will help provide answers for creating and maintaining more tolerant, legally compliant workplaces, schools, organizations, and societal relationships.

Revisiting Freedom House Ambulance: A Call for a Modern and Inclusive Public Health Initiative
Sept. 25
Noon-2 p.m.

Designated as a Public Health Grand Rounds event, an in-depth discussion led by Phil Hallen, co-founder of Freedom House Ambulance and president emeritus of the Falk Foundation. This webinar will explore the Freedom House Ambulance model and analyze the potential of community paramedicine to address health disparities via an inclusive and diverse workforce.

From Linguistic Racism to Linguistic Justice and Liberation: Black Language, Literacy, and Learning
Sept. 1
5:30-7 p.m.

Join us as we discuss the ways African American Vernacular English (AAVE) should be respected and integrated as part of the literacy and learning of Black children during Covid-19 and beyond, and explore the relationship between Black children’s language and the development of a healthy identity.

Position, Power, Autoethnography: An Antiracist Workshop
Sept. 3
12:30-2 p.m.

The Humanities Center welcomes Louis Maraj for a workshop. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Louis M. Maraj is an assistant professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh and author of the forthcoming book Black or Right: Anti/Racist Campus Rhetorics (Utah State UP 2020).

Equity, Antiracism, and Remote Teaching and Learning Strategies
Aug. 13
10:15 a.m.

Presented by the PittEd Justice Collective, this engaging session is for teachers, education leaders, families, and school and community partners preparing to return to school under different spatial circumstances and learning conditions, given the COVID-19 and racism pandemics.

Lunch & Learn: Food Insecurity
Aug. 13
Noon-1 p.m.

The August health topic will be food insecurity and food access. Specifically, we are hoping to bring attention to insecurity and access of food in black and brown communities and the myriad ways folks in academia and community spaces are showing up. The New Pittsburgh Courier will print this Take Charge of Your Health topic in their August 12th newspaper edition. The hour is dedicated to both the presentation of information and hearing from those in the room, answering questions and thinking about the relevance and importance of this health topic.

Polarized Pandemics: The Politics of COVID-19 and Racism
Aug. 12
Noon-1:30 p.m.

All are welcome to join us for this installment of our town hall series – This Is Not "Normal": Allyship and Advocacy in the Age of COVID-19 – which focuses on the diverse facets of our lives and communities impacted by institutional and systemic inequities and injustices that are further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virtual Diversity Book Club
Aug. 12
6 p.m.

Make plans to join the Department of Medicine Office of Diversity and Inclusion for our second Virtual Diversity Book Club. Our book of choice this month is So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.

Stimulating Change with Andrew Yang
Aug. 8
8-9:30 p.m.

The Pitt Program Council is excited to announce Stimulating Change with Andrew Yang! This online seminar will feature an interactive discussion with author and entrepreneur Andrew Yang focused on the importance of voting, a post-coronavirus America, and the weight that college student's voices can hold in our country.

Managing Racial Stress and Trauma
The workshop takes place Fridays from 9-10 a.m.
July 17, July 24, July 31, August 7

When discussing the impact of racism, it is easy to overlook the psychological harm it can do to its victims. In this group, students of color can will learn to identify the symptoms of race-related stress and racial trauma and how it impacts them. Likewise, students will be able to identify ways of managing their racialized distress to improve self-care.

The Allies' Anti-Racist Toolkit
Through August 4, 2020
This is a space for White and non-Black students of color to discuss active, tangible ways they can support the black community. The workshop is held Tuesdays from 4-5 p.m through August 4, 2020.

Facing White Fragility
The workshop takes place on Mondays from 1-2 p.m.
July 20, July 27, August 3

This is a White therapist-led space for White-identified students to explore what it means to be white. Students will be supported as they examine ways they have benefitted from white privilege, and discuss common concerns (e.g., "What if I say the wrong thing? I'm afraid of looking stupid”) that come along with becoming an anti-racist ally.

Diversity Forum 2020
July 28-30, 2020
Learn how we can make Pittsburgh a more inclusive region at the Diversity Forum 2020. The forum, Advancing Social Justice: A Call to Action, is a first-of-its kind virtual event at Pitt and will feature speakers including Ibram X. Kendi, historian, New York Times best-selling author and founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center. Secure your spot for the multi-day event by visiting the forum’s website. Registration is free and open to the public.

CUESEF 2020 - Crisis Pedagogies: Communities, Education, and the Public Good
All events take place from 2-4 p.m.
With this year’s theme, we hope to foster deep thinking about (in)justice and (un)learning in the U.S. and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, more specifically. A related aim is sharing ideas and strategies for intervention and change that insist on life, equity, and liberatory education as essential to the public good.

  • July 2, 2020 — Teach the Teachers – Youth Panel
  • July 9, 2020—Care-Giving and Circles of Support
  • July 16, 2020—Community Perspectives: Health, Faith, and Action
  • July 23, 2020—Toward Critical Pedagogy: Teachers and Teaching
  • July 30, 2020—Planning for Black Futures: Leadership and Policy Perspectives

Racialized Police Violence in Global Perspective: 5 Key Concepts
All events take place from 4-5:30 p.m.
This discussion series provides students with an opportunity to think about the most recent wave of brutal police violence in the United States in a global perspective.

  • July 1: Race
  • July 8: Settler Colonialism
  • July 15: Racial Capitalism
  • July 22: Transnationalism
  • July 29: Policing in the USA

PittEd Justice Collective

Virtual Series on Justice – Summer 2020
The PittEd Justice Collective has teamed up with Transform for Tomorrow to offer a three-part virtual series for superintendents and school leaders in K-16 education. The virtual series is presented in collaboration with the Grable Foundation, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, and Remake Learning. View the program flyer for more information (PDF) » or Register for one or more of the webinars »

  • Part 1: Justice Learning and Leading
    July 14, 2020 | 10:30-11:30 a.m.
    Focused on anti-racist approaches to leading and learning; explores equity and justice strategies education leaders can use to support teachers, students, and families.
  • Part 2: Justice Teaching in STEM
    July 16, 2020 | 1-2 p.m.
    Focused on anti-racist approaches to teaching and will share perspectives of Social Justice Math and Science and STEM teacher activism.
  • Part 3: Justice Listening and Strategizing
    July 21, 2020 | 10:30-11:30 a.m.
    A conversation with high school and college students who will share stories about racism and educational inequities.

Read about the PittEd Justice Collective webinar series in the University Times »

Race, Injustice, and Seeking Change with W. Kamau Bell
July 16
8-9:30 p.m.

The Pitt Program Council and the Black Action Society are excited to announce Race, Injustice, and Seeking Change with W. Kamau Bell! Together, the Pitt Program Council and the Black Action Society will lead a discussion with the sociopolitical comedian and United Shades of America host W. Kamau Bell, with a focus on the Black Lives Matter Movement, racism in America, and the impact all college students can have on the movements in our communities and in our country.

The Art of Diversity Showcase and Competition
Through July 6, 2020
The Office of Diversity & Inclusion is looking to share your creative projects in its Art of Diversity Showcase and Competition, held in partnership with the Center for Creativity. All members of the Pitt community and the Pittsburgh region are invited to submit creative works of any kind and are relevant to aspects of their cultural identity, sociocultural topics or social justice issues. Submissions will be accepted until July 6, and are open to all creative mediums, including visual art, music, dance and writing. The winners of the contest will be announced at the Diversity Forum 2020 on July 29.

Toxic Recipe: The Historical Ingredients for American Inequity
July 8, 2020
Noon-1:30 p.m.

All are welcome to join us for this installment of our town hall series – This Is Not "Normal": Allyship and Advocacy in the Age of COVID-19 – that focus on the diverse facets of our lives and communities impacted by institutional and systemic inequities and injustices, and further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Race, Police, and Unarmed Civilian Deaths: What Can Be Done?
June 10, 2020
Noon-1 p.m.

A conversation with David Harris, Sally Ann Semenko Endowed Chair and Professor, School of Law; Host of the Criminal Injustice podcast.

Codes of Belief & COVID-19, and Racism: Faith in an Age of Pandemics
June 10, 2020
12-1:30 p.m.

Continue the dialogue
June 16, 2020

Join Mario Brown, director of  the Office of Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion, in a space where the dialogue from the town halls can continue. If interested, contact mcb77@pitt.edu.

I Can’t Breathe: From Agony to Activism Town Hall
Wednesday, June 3
Noon-1:30 p.m.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Health Sciences Diversity are facilitating an emergency installment of their town hall series This Is Not “Normal”: Allyship and Advocacy in the Age of COVID-19. The “I Can’t Breathe: From Agony to Activism” town hall will address the troubled history between race and justice, with a focus on the recent tragedy in Minnesota, and outline tangible actions the community can take to achieve justice and equity.  The program will feature a panel of community activists, educators and public servants.