Carnegie Mellon University

Upcoming Events


Previous Events


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


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


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”



Day 2: Friday, Sept. 24, 4:30-6:30pm
“Training the Next Generation, Changing the Academy, and Reaping the Harvest.”


Day 3: Friday, Oct. 1, 4:30-6:30pm
 Part I: Race, Class, and Early American Cities


        Day 4: Friday, Oct. 8, 4:30-6:30pm

Part II: Emancipation, the Great Migration, and Emergence of the Black Metropolis


  Day 5: Friday, Oct. 15, 4:30-6:30pm

Part III: Modern Black Freedom Struggle, the Digital Age, and New Politics



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. 



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.



*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.


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. 


Event Program: 
Nico Slate, Professor of History and Department Head
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
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
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



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


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

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


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.


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.




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