Carnegie Mellon University
Conferences and Forums

CAUSE Conferences and Forums


Our Compelling Interests: Out of Many Faiths
May 6, 2019

A major highlight of our 2018-19 academic year was a collaborative event on religious diversity with the distinguished scholar Earl Lewis, President of the Organization of American Historians, Past President of the A. W. Mellon Foundation, and Director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Social Solutions. The program featured a panel discussion on interfaith activist Eboo Patel’s new book, Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise. Patel is a former member of President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council and founder of the innovative Interfaith Youth Core.  Patel’s new book appears in the series, Our Compelling Interests (Princeton University Press), edited by Earl Lewis and Nancy Cantor. Out of Many Faiths celebrates the power of religious diversity in our culture. Filmed at Pittsburgh’s public television station WQED, acclaimed journalist Lisa Washington moderated an intellectually engaging discussion on the meaning of religious diversity in our changing world with author Patel, the outstanding religious scholar Robert Jones, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life congregation, and Pittsburgh’s Mayor Bill Peduto. 

You can view the panel here:

In collaboration with the Senator John Heinz History Center

Keynote address: James R. Grossman
Historian and Executive Director, American Historical Association
Associate Faculty in History, University of Chicago
"Freedom From and Freedom To: Exploring Some Meanings of the Great Migration"

Conference Page

Keynote address: Dennis DickersonJames M. Lawson, Jr. Professor of History, Vanderbilt University
"Laboring for the Lord: African Methodism and Workers in Western Pennsylvania, 1869-1929"

Opening lecture: Richard Blackett, Andrew Jackson Professor of History, Vanderbilt University
“Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle Against Slavery in Western Pennsylvania"

Conference Page

Keynote address: Earl Lewis, President, A. W. Mellon Foundation
"Moving Through and Beyond the Academy: From Norfolk to New York"

Guest Speaker: 
Carol AndersonSamuel Candler Dobbs Professor of African American Studies and Chair, Emory University
“’When the Levees Broke’: A History of Un-Civil Rights in America”

This conference brought together leading specialists on black urban history from the transatlantic slave trade to the recent period of deindustrialization and the rise of the postindustrial city; we examined certain continuities as well as striking discontinuities in the experiences of city people of African descent— across regions as well as by class, gender, color, and a variety of other variables. 
conf poster 2015

Conference Page

This conference brought national and international scholars together to explore the black power movement geographically, chronologically, and thematically in transnational perspective. By examining black power beyond geographic and chronological borders, “Black Power Beyond Borders” investigated the multiple meanings of black power both within and beyond the United States.

Keynote Address

Panel 1: "Black Power Before "Black Power"

Panel 2: "The Panthers Abroad"

Panel 3: "Global Black Power from Inside Out"

Panel 4: "Power, Violence, and The Values of Militancy"

Black Power Conference poster

Keynote address: Dr. Henry Louis Taylor, Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and Director of Center for Urban Studies, University at Buffalo

Following the election of President Barak Obama, this one day conference was an undergraduate initiative organized by students from the School of Computer Science, Tepper School of Business, and the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.  

What's next flyer

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, CAUSE and the Departments of History, Economics, English, Modern Languages, Psychology, and Social and Decision Sciences co-sponsored a town hall meeting held on 19 October 2005. Moderated by Joe Trotter, the panel featured presentations by Vagel Keller (Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History), Chris T. Hendrickson (Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering), and Johanna Fernandez (Postdoctoral fellow, CAUSE). Inspired by this meeting, CAUSE later supported the development of a special Katrina issue for the Journal of Urban History (2009).

Katrina townhall meeting flyer

This was the 10th Anniversary Conference of CAUSE.  Recognizing how increasing numbers of scholars from a variety of disciplines had examined and transformed our understanding of African Ameircan life over the past two decades, this conference aimed to take advantage of this unique moment in research, writing, and interpretation of the African American urban experience and help bridge the gap between the quest for effective strategies for social change on the one hand and new groundbreaking scholarship across several disciplines on the other.  Our keynote speaker was Lawrence D. Bobo, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University "African Americans, Cities, and Policy-Making in a New Age"

2005 conference poster

This seminar and speakers aimed to enhance the institutionalization of black urban studies in the academy and influence research, teaching, and popular understanding of the subject. In conjunction with the seminar, we hosted an urban studies conference, featuring six major speakers, experts on African American life in post-World War II cities. We also used this conference as a vehicle for bringing Midwest Consortium members together.  

Full Conference Program

The CAUSE Inaugural Conference featured nationally and internationally known speakers on African merican, Latino, and Asian American workers in 19th and 20th century America. American, Latino, and Asian American urban workers in 19th and 20th century America. Twenty  years ago, historian Earl Lewis, author of the groundbreaking study, In Their Own Interests:  Race, Class, and Power in Twentieth-Century Norfolk, Virginia (Berkeley, 1991), delivered the keynote address for our inaugural conference. We are delighted to report that Dr. Earl Lewis, now president of the A. W. Mellon Foundation, will return to Carnegie Mellon University in October (2-4) as the keynote speaker for our 20th Anniversary State of the Field Conference. Our inaugural conference was co-sponsored by the Dietrich College of Humanties and Social Sciences and the H. John Heinz College.