Carnegie Mellon University

Welcome to CAUSE at Carnegie Mellon University

 Our current projects:

Pittsburgh’s “Crafting Democratic Futures Project” is part of a three-year five million dollar grant: “Crafting Democratic Futures: Situating Colleges and Universities in Community-Based Reparations Solutions.” This project is funded by the A. W. Mellon Foundation, under Principal Investigator Dr. Earl Lewis, Director of the Center for Social Solutions (CSS) at the University of Michigan.  CAUSE is one of ten partners in this nationwide effort. 

Under the leadership of PI Joe William Trotter, Jr., Pittsburgh’s “Democratic Futures” project brings together college and university humanities scholars with community-based organizations and grassroots social activists to produce a comprehensive history of Pittsburgh’s African American experience from its inception during the late colonial era through recent times.

By carefully documenting the myriad dimensions of social injustice in the city and region over time, this book will establish the empirical foundation for the development of “research-informed, community-engaged reparations plans” for the City of Pittsburgh and the larger metropolitan region. All along this journey, the Pittsburgh project will enlist the help of influential community partners in government and public service; the religious and philanthropic communities; and the organized labor, entrepreneurial, and business sectors of the city’s variegated political economy. Our collaborators will assist in researching, writing, understanding, interpreting, and forging solutions to systemic racial and class inequality across Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. 

Project Staff and Partners
Joe William Trotter, Jr., PI, Giant Eagle University Professor of History and Social Justice and Director, CAUSE
Arlie Chipps, Program Coordinator
Writing Partners (WPs)
Joe William Trotter, Jr.
Laurence Glasco, Associate Professor of History
 University of Pittsburgh
Rob Ruck, Professor of History
 University of Pittsburgh
Tony Norman, Columnist and Book Review Editor
Pittsburgh Post- Gazette
Graduate Research Assistants (RAs)
Michael White, History, CMU
Stacey Akines, History, CMU
Arko Dasgupta, History, CMU
Community Fellows (CFs)
Patricia Pugh Mitchell, MA, History and English
University of Pittsburgh
Carla Young, MSED, Clarion University
Community Advisory Committee (CAS)
Benjamin Houston (Co-Chair), Professor of History
Newcastle University, UK
Waverly Duck (Co-Chair), Professor of Sociology
UC Santa Barbara
Esther L. Bush, CEO and President (retired)
Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
Samuel Black, Director, African American Programs
 Heinz History Center
Charlene Foggie Barnett, Teenie Harris Community Archivist
Carnegie Museum of Art
Ralph Proctor, Professor of History
Community College of Allegheny County
National Partner Institutions
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Emory University, Atlanta
Rutgers University-Newark
Spelman College, Atlanta*
Concordia College, Morehead, MN*
Connecticut College, New London*
Wesleyan College, Macon, GA*
Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC*
WQED Public Television, Pittsburgh, PA
The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC)
*Member of CIC.

Recent Publications

 "Workers on Arrival: Black Labor in the Making of America
 by Joe William Trotter, Jr.
 University of California Press, 2019

 Interviews and articles:

 Journal of Working-Class Studies (2019)

  Jacobin (December, 2019)

 The Nation (October 7, 2019)

 Stanford Social Innovation Review (May 14, 2019)

PA Books on PCN Podcast (March 5, 2019)

 Rising up with Sonali (February 1, 2019)

 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (January 29, 2019)

 Times Reporter (January 22, 2019)


 "The Ghetto in Global History: 1500 to the Present"
 by Wendy Z. Goldman and
 Joe William Trotter, Jr.
 Routledge, 2017