At the moment of this center’s launching, we find ourselves at the juncture of three overlapping pandemics: the global spread of the COVID-19 virus, which has exposed the rampant racial health inequalities that ravage our public health system; the economic downturn spawned by the virus’ spread and indexed by the unprecedented unemployment and negative GDP; and the social unrest and protests brought to a boil by the state-sanctioned violence towards unarmed African Americans by police among which are the latest, George Floyd and more recently Rayshard Brooks. Anyone of these alone presents a challenge to public confidence and hope, but this trifecta of misery has pushed us again to a point at which we must look squarely at the ills that racism has wrought.
While this is a despairing moment, the activism around the world that has been led in great part by a new generation demanding that we do better is a sign that we must. Emerging at this critical juncture in America’s long history of unreconciled racism, The Center for Studies on Africa and Its Diaspora strives to create and hold the space for those meaningful conversations and discussions to formulate strategies and spur action to create a brand new world which believes in humility, respect, empathy, and compassion. Opportunities and growth for all.