Notre Dame Initiative on Race and Resilience
Our mission is to challenge systemic racism and to advance racial equality through research, education, and community empowerment.
Led by Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters with additional support from the Office of the Provost, the Initiative on Race and Resilience serves as the site at which a community of scholars, teachers, students, artists, and community organizers gathers to develop and advance their respective projects, exchange ideas, and celebrate the expressive cultures of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities.
Global in scope and comparative and interdisciplinary in critical approach, the Initiative on Race and Resilience promotes multiracial collaboration, qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and inclusive pedagogy.
Calvin Zimmermann is assistant professor of sociology and the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity at the University of Notre Dame.
Ernest Morrell is professor of English and Africana Studies and Coyle Professor in Literacy Education at the University of Notre Dame.
Rory McVeigh is professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame.
Equally as important, the Initiative embraces the arts as a means to examine race more substantively and thus to attend to the forms of oppression it produces as well as the identities and forms or resistance it enables.
Mark A. Sanders is professor of English and Africana studies at the University of Notre Dame, and is the director of the Initiative on Race and Resilience.
Kola Owolabi is Professor of Organ at the University of Notre Dame. There he teaches the graduate organ performance majors in the sacred music program, as well as courses in hymn playing and improvisation.
La Donna L. Forsgren is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre; concurrent faculty in the Gender Studies Program; and affiliate faculty in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of Sistuhs in the Struggle: An Oral History of Black Arts Movement Theater and Performance (Northwestern University Press, 2020) and In Search of Our Warrior Mothers: Women Dramatists of the Black Arts Movement (Northwestern University Press, 2018).
Literatures of Annihilation, Exile & Resistance: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Global Middle East and North Africa is a bi-annual symposium and lecture series that focuses on the study of literatures that have been shaped by histories of territorial and linguistic politics, colonialism, military domination and gross human rights violations. The initiative grapples with the constructed nature of history; reimagines American and global history from the position of suppressed voices; and examines how minoritized writers and scholars have historically innovated literary production and theory in the process of responding to systemic violence. Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is the director of Literatures of Annihilation, Exile & Resistance: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Global Middle East and North Africa and an associate professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.
With 20 departments across the humanities, arts, and social sciences, the College of Arts and Letters is home to exceptional faculty and talented students who are studying what they love. It’s an environment to ask big questions, read classic texts, and explore languages and cultures. We’re not just about learning through acquisition. We’re about learning through exploration. Our undergraduate students travel the globe to research topics that fascinate them, then turn their observations into conclusions about the world. Through the liberal arts, you learn to read deeply. Think about issues critically. Discuss topics thoughtfully. Write arguments persuasively. Contribute to projects creatively. And these abilities aren’t just vital in the classroom—they’re exactly what employers, graduate schools, and service organizations are looking for.
August 26, 2022