About the Project

Barv Hero 2021


In June 2020, prompted by the horrific killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, our nation awakened to the brutality of institutional racism and the violence to human dignity it has wrought in communities of color throughout America's history.  On campus, our student body engaged too, leading the community in prayer and in protest.

At the Klau Institute, consistent with our mission to provide education, inquiry, and engagement on issues of civil and human rights, we stand ready to provide the intellectual grounding for the transformative work of anti-racism at Notre Dame and in our broader communities.

An educational initiative

Building an Anti-Racist Vocabulary is a three-part initiative aimed at providing students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of Notre Dame with sustained, critical engagement on interdisciplinary topics related to understanding systemic racism, and committing to the daily work of anti-racism.

The first component is our lecture series of the same name. It is designed to be a sophisticated entry point for students, faculty, and staff ready to embrace anti-racism. Our speakers bring an unambiguous commitment and offer a variety of areas of expertise.  They do not all share a uniform view of history, of the present moment, or of the way forward. We expect our community to engage respectfully with each speaker, using each talk as an opportunity to engage thoughtfully and critically with concepts and topics that will advance their knowledge of and commitment to anti-racism.

The second component is a one-credit course built around the lecture series. In addition to attending the weekly lectures, students will participate in small discussion groups, complete reflective writings, engage with written materials, and, importantly, craft thoughtful questions to be posed to our visiting speakers.

The final component of this initiative is a graduate-student led reading group on the particularly pressing issue of racial justice and policing.  This group will engage in serious, interdisciplinary, academic study of policing and hear from experts with different interpretations of the data and different perspectives on solutions.

We are proud to offer this initiative to the Notre Dame community.  We sincerely hope that you will join us.

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