Mission and Vision


Our mission is to support research, teaching, and public dialogue that examine race and intersecting dimensions of human difference including but not limited to class, gender, religion, and sexuality. We are interested in how systems of social distinction shape identities, modes of knowing, processes of inclusion and exclusion, and acts of representation. 

In the tradition of James Weldon Johnson’s life and work, a feature of the Institute is to produce new knowledge on movements for civil and human rights in the United States and abroad. We value approaches that are interdisciplinary, multi-disciplinary, comparative, and that inform public discourse and decision-making.  

Our view is that by fostering courageous inquiry on race and difference at Emory we will contribute to the creation of a new institutional culture that not only will transform research, scholarship and teaching, but also the manner in which we all understand and engage the world.


To establish by 2025 Emory University as the nation’s premiere university for research, teaching, and public dialogue on race and intersecting dimensions of human difference, whose members work collaboratively for positive transformation in the local Atlanta community and world communities.

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