Carnegie Mellon University

Upcoming Events

 2022-2023  SPEAKER SERIES

In order to help deepen our understanding of reparations and redress movements in African American history, our 2022-23 Speakers Series features six lectures on the diverse componentsof the restorative justice theme in national and transnational perspective. This speaker series will be a hybrid event and you can join us via zoom or in-person. 

October 7, 2022 

Situating Black Religious Leaders in the Struggle for Reparations 
R. Drew Smith, PhD., Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

The presentation will examine reparations advocacy by a vanguard of African American clergy proponents, from Bishop Henry McNeil Turner’s late-19thcentury demands for federal payments toward emigrationism and BlackAtlantic linkages, to 21stcentury black clergy involvements in national level, local level, and sector specific reparations policy activism. Attention will be paid to evolving theoretical and operational framings of this reparations advocacy and to variances in levels of American religious and political receptivity to reparations proposals. Prospects for Pittsburgh-area reparations pursuits, including current Hill District initiatives, will be viewed against these broader historical and contextual trajectories of American public and black religious responsiveness to reparations concerns.

You can watch the recorded lecture below: 

November 11, 2022 
Location: To be announced
Zoom registration: https://tinyurl.com/causewinant
Schedule of events:
3:30 - 4:30 PM - Reception for in person participants
Food and refreshments will be provided 
4:30 - 6:00 PM - Speaker Presentation:

CRUCIBLE OF CARE: RACE, CLASS, AND GENDER IN PITTSBURGH'S TRANSITION FROM STEEL TO HEALTH CARE

 The decline of Pittsburgh's steel industry and the rise of its giant health care sector were deeply interconnected processes. Deindustrialization made the region older, poorer, and sicker, and health care institutions proved the best positioned to respond to this demographic shock. As hospitals and nursing homes grew, they hired from the most vulnerable layers of the labor market—particularly the African American women who had been most marginalized by the employment patterns of the industrial period. In this way, the transition to a service economy remade patterns of class, racial, and gender inequality.

Gabriel Winant, Ph.D.Gabriel Winant, Assistant Professor, U.S. History, University of Chicago; Ph.D., Yale University. Author: The Next Shift: The Fall of Manufacturing and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America and, in-progress, Our Weary Years: How the Working Class Survived Industrial America.

Dr. Gabriel Winant is assistant professor of history at the University of Chicago. His book,The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America, was published last year and received the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for best first book in U.S. history. His writing also regularly appears in publications such as Dissent, The Nation, and n+1.

 

February 10, 2023
Location: Cohon University Center - Danforth Conference Room 
Zoom registration: https://tinyurl.com/causejenkins
Schedule of events:
3:30 - 4:30 PM - Reception for in person participants
Food and refreshments will be provided 
4:30 - 6:00 PM - Speaker Presentation:

THE BONDS OF INEQUALITY: DEBT AND THE URBAN AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

Indebtedness, like inequality, has become a ubiquitous condition in the United States. Yet few have probed American cities’ dependency on municipal debt, and how the terms of municipal finance structure racial privileges, entrench spatial neglect, elide democratic input, and distribute wealth and power. In this lecture, Destin Jenkins explores how, beyond the borrowing decisions of American cities and beneath their quotidian infrastructure, there lurks a world of politics and finance that is rarely seen, let alone understood. He also unearths the fiscal inquests of African Americans who employed various tactics to break the bonds of segregation.

Destin JenkinsDestin Jenkins, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Stanford University; Ph.D., Stanford University. Author: The Bonds of Inequality: Debt and the Making of the American City and co-author: Histories of Racial Capitalism.

Dr. Destin Jenkins is a historian of democracy and capitalism in post-Reconstruction America. He is currently an assistant professor of history at Stanford University. He is the author of The Bonds of Inequality: Debt and the Making of the American City (The University of Chicago Press, 2021), and co-editor of Histories of Racial Capitalism (Columbia University Press, 2021).

 

February 24, 2023
Location: Cohon University Center - Danforth Conference Room 
Zoom registration: https://tinyurl.com/causefarmer
Schedule of events:
3:30 - 4:30 PM - Reception for in person participants
Food and refreshments will be provided 
4:30 - 6:00 PM - Speaker Presentation:

SOMEBODY HAS TO PAY: QUEEN MOTHER AUDLEY MOORE AND THE MODERN REPARATIONS MOVEMENT

 Reparations is now a common concept even if people disagree on the importance or mechanics of repayment. But where did the idea of reparations for Black people come from and how should repayment work? These and other questions were at the heart of the modern reparations movement started and sustained by “Queen Mother” Audley Moore. This paper offers an overview of Black women’s leadership of the reparations movement with special attention to Moore’s theorizing and activism in support of reparations. It chronicles how, through her reparations campaigns, Moore empowered everyday people to think about how addressing the past might help them better understand the present and prepare for the future and how shelaid the groundwork for the increasing number of reparations bills, programs, and restitution funds of today.

Ashley Farmer, Ph.D.Ashley Farmer, Associate Professor, Departments of History and African and African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas-Austin; Ph.D., Harvard UniversityAuthor: Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era and, forthcoming, Queen Mother Audley Moore: Mother of Black Nationalism.

Dr. Ashley D. Farmer is a historian of black women's history, intellectual history, and radical politics. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era and a co-editor of New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition. Farmer's scholarship has appeared in numerous venues including The Black Scholar and The Journal of African American History. Her research has also been featured in several popular outlets including Vibe, NPR, The Chronicle Review, and The Washington Post. Her current book project is Queen Mother Audley Moore: Mother of Black Nationalism.

 

March 17, 2023
Location: To be announced
Zoom registration: https://tinyurl.com/causegoldstein
Schedule of events:
3:30 - 4:30 PM - Reception for in person participants
Food and refreshments will be provided 
4:30 - 6:00 PM - Speaker Presentation:

GENTRIFICATION AND THE STRUGGLE OVER THE POSTINDUSTRIAL CITY: THE VIEW FROM HARLEM

In the last four decades of the twentieth century, Harlem, New York—America’s most famous historically Black neighborhood—transformed from the archetypal symbol of midcentury “urban crisis” to the most celebrated example of “urban renaissance” in the United States. Once a favored subject for sociologists studying profound poverty and physical decline in the postindustrial city, by the new millennium Harlem found itself increasingly the site of refurbished brownstones, shiny glass and steel shopping centers, and a growing middle-class population. Drawing from Brian D. Goldstein’s book, The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle Over Harlem (to be republished in spring 2023 in an expanded paperback edition), this lecture will trace this arc in order to reveal the complicated history of social and physical transformation that has changed many American urban centers in the last several decades. Gentrification is often described as a process controlled by outsiders, with clear winners and losers, victors and victims. In contrast, this talk will explore the central role that Harlemites themselves played in reshaping Harlem and bringing about its urban renaissance, an outcome that had both positive and negative effects for their neighborhood.

Destin JenkinsBrian D. Goldstein, Associate Professor of Art History, Swarthmore College; Ph.D., Harvard University.  Author: The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle over Harlem and, in-progress, If Architecture Were for People: The Life and Work of J. Max Bond, Jr.

Dr. Brian D. Goldstein is an architectural and urban historian and an associate professor at Swarthmore College. His research focuses on the intersection of the built environment, race and class,and social movements, especially in the United States. His writing includes the book The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle Over Harlem (expanded edition forthcoming from Princeton University Press, 2023), winner of the 2020 John Friedmann Book Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the 2019 Lewis Mumford Prize for the Best Book in Planning History. His articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, Buildings & Landscapes, Journal of Urban History, and the edited volumes Radical Pedagogies; Affordable Housing in NewYork; Reassessing Rudolph; and Summer in the City: John Lindsay, New York, and the American Dream. He has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and Society of Architectural Historians. He is currently writing If Architecture Were for People: The Life and Work of J. Max Bond, Jr., under contract with Princeton University Press.

 

April 21, 2023
Location: Cohon University Center - Danforth Conference Room 
Zoom registration: https://tinyurl.com/mullendarity
Schedule of events:
3:30 - 4:30 PM - Reception for in person participants
Food and refreshments will be provided 
4:30 - 6:00 PM - Speaker Presentation:

REPARATIONS FOR BLACK AMERICANS IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Details will be forthcoming soon.

William Darity & A. Kirsten MullenWilliam A. Darity, Jr., is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and Director of the S. D. Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University; he is also a former chair of the Department of African and African American Studies. Co-author with A. K. Mullen, From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.

A. Kirsten Mullen is a folklorist and founder of Artefactual, an arts-consulting firm; member of the concept development team that designed the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture; and faculty member of the Community Folklife Documentation Institute. Co-author with W.A. Darity, From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.




Previous Events

2022 SPRING SPEAKER SERIES



“Land, Lords, and Tenants,” Struggles for Rent Control in Lagos, Nigeria, 1941-60
Friday, April 8, 2022 | 4:30pm - 6:30pm ET

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Segregated Medicine - How Racial Politics Shaped American Healthcare
Friday, March 11, 2022 | 4:30pm - 6:30pm ET



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September 17 - October 15, 2021

CAUSE 25th Anniversary Conference

“African American Urban History from Past to Future Tense: Thoughts on the State of a Field”

Carnegie Mellon University Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE) 25th Anniversary Conference from Yamean Studios Films on Vimeo.

“Celebrating the Scholarship and Professional Career of Earl Lewis”

 

Day 1: Friday, Sept. 17, 4:30-6:30pm 
In Their Own Interest and Beyond: Reflections on the Impact of a Classic”
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Day 2: Friday, Sept. 24, 4:30-6:30pm
“Training the Next Generation, Changing the Academy, and Reaping the Harvest.”
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Day 3: Friday, Oct. 1, 4:30-6:30pm
 Part I: Race, Class, and Early American Cities
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        Day 4: Friday, Oct. 8, 4:30-6:30pm

Part II: Emancipation, the Great Migration, and Emergence of the Black Metropolis
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  Day 5: Friday, Oct. 15, 4:30-6:30pm

Part III: Modern Black Freedom Struggle, the Digital Age, and New Politics
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Friday, May 7, 2021 - 4:30-6:00pm 

Public Forum Lessons Learned from Historical and Current Perspectives on Race, Cities, and Policing

This forum provides an opportunity for us to come together to discuss the broader implications of the recent conviction of policeman Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. Similar to our previous forum on health disparities, we will use this forum to recall, reflect upon, discuss, and debate the principal issues raised by the final two lectures on policing in our spring speaker’s series.  Following brief remarks by the co-moderators, we will hear brief remarks from our guest discussants and then open the forum to comments from our audience.  The moderators will not only encourage comments from attendees but also questions direct to the group for consideration. Our goal is to take away a deeper and more profound understanding of race, policing, and the African American community in the nation’s past and present. Please join us for this exceedingly timely event of collective reflection. 

 

Co-Moderators

Joe William Trotter, Jr., Giant Eagle University Professor of History and Social Justice and Director, Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE)

Ramayya Kishnan, Dean, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy and William W. and Ruth F. Cooper Professor of Management Science and Information Systems

Guest Discussants

Luther Adams, Associate Professor, Social and Historical Studies, University of Washington Tacoma. Dr. Adams is the author of a groundbreaking historical study of Louisville, Kentucky’s African American community. His current book in progress, Black and Blue: Toward a History of Police Brutality, explores the origins and impact of police brutality on Black communities today.

Daniel S. Nagin, Teresa and H. John Heinz III University Professor of Public Policy and Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University.  Professor Nagin is the current President of the American Society of Criminology and the 2014 recipient of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology. He has written extensively on policing in the USA.

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*Download the Spring 2021 Speaker Series event poster here.

 

 

Joe W. Trotter, Jr., Director and Founder
Evie Jean, Program Coordinator

 

 

  Friday, April 30, 2021 - 4:30-6:00pm EST

Simon Balto: Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power.

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April 22, 2021, 3:30 - 5:30 pm

Book Launch:  Pittsburgh and the Urban League Movement: A Century of Social Service and Activism by Joe William Trotter, Jr.

(Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2020)

In Series on Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century
This broad-ranging history explores the Urban League of Pittsburgh (ULP), a branch of the National Urban League, to provide insights into an organization that has often faced criticism for its deep class and gender limitations. The impact of the National Urban League is a hotly debated topic in African American social and political history, but Trotter’s study demonstrates how the organization has relieved massive suffering and racial inequality in US cities for more than a century. 

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Event Program: 
Welcome
Nico Slate, Professor of History and Department Head
Remarks
Esther L. Bush, President and CEO, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
Ashley Runyon, Director, University Press of Kentucky
Panel Moderator
Rhonda Y. Williams, Professor and John Siegenthaler Chair in American History, Vanderbilt University
Commentators
Brian Purnell, Geoffrey Canada Professor of Africana Studies and History, Bowdoin College
Todd Michney, Assistant Professor of History and Sociology, Georgia Institute of Technology
Author Remarks
Joe William Trotter, Jr., Giant Eagle University Professor of History and Social Justice and Director, CAUSE
Discussion
Click here to download event flyer

 

CAUSE - Heinz College Spring 2021 Virtual Speaker Series :

African Americans, Health, and Policing during the Age of the Corona Virus: Historical and Contemporary Policy Perspectives

During these challenging times in African American and U. S. history, the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE) and the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy are pleased to announce a virtual speaker’s series on racial disparities in American policing and health care systems. Along with many colleges and universities across the country, Carnegie Mellon University has pledged to help eradicate “systemic racism” from all facets of the nation’s institutions within and beyond academia. Most immediately, however, there is a preponderance of interest in understanding and dismantling racialized policing and health care systems. These institutions place African Americans and other people of color at the center of both state violence against citizens as well as the destructive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic among other health hazards.

As part of Carnegie Mellon’s larger efforts to address these challenges, CAUSE (housed in the Department of History, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences) and Heinz College are embarking upon a series of collaborative programs designed to deepen our understanding of the historical and contemporary policy dimensions of persistent class and racial inequality in American society. This collaborative speakers’ series, “African Americans, Health, and Policing during the Age of the Corona Virus,” will include five public lectures (three on health disparities and two on discriminatory and violent policing) and two public forums. Designed to “take stock of lessons learned” through attendance and engagement with the speakers in the lecture series, the first public forum will take place the following week after the third speaker on health inequities and the second forum will convene the week after the second talk on policing. 

  Friday, April 9, 2021 - 4:30-6:00pm ET

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Friday, March 26, 2021 - 4:30-6:00pm

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 Friday, March 19, 2021 - 4:30-6:00pm ET

Aishah Scott: The Aids Epidemic in Black America: Foreshadowing the Health Disparities of Covid-19.

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Friday, February 19, 2021 - 4:30-6:00pm ET

Alondra Nelson: Contemporary Movements to Combat the Racial Disparities of Covid-19 Compared to Past Efforts to Address Epidemics and Pandemics in the United States.

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Friday, January 22, 2021 - 4:30-6:30pm ET

Vanessa N Gamble: Exploring Connections between the Current Impact of Covid-19 and Past Epidemics and Pandemics in African American and U.S. History.

 

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019
In collaboration with the John Heinz History Center
Book Launch: “Workers on Arrival: Black Labor in the Making of America”
Location - Senator John Heinz History Center
Reception at 5:30pm, Great Hall
Book Talk at 7:00pm, Mueller Education Center
Joe William Trotter, Jr. Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice, Director and Founder, Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE)

Friday, February 21, 2020
Black History Month Reception
Reception - 4:00-7:00pm
Singleton Room, Roberts Hall, CMU campus