This fall, we introduced the Community Studies Race Conference Fellowship to cover expenses for up to two students to attend a national conference that addresses race and social justice. Our fellowship could not have been timelier. As we write this note, it feels like nearly every day and across the country, another policeman has gunned down another child or young person of color. Most victims but certainly not all are male; most but certainly not all are African American. To date, nearly all of the courts have refused to indict the killers. (See, e.g., http://gawker.com/unarmed-people-of-color-killed-by-police-1999-2014-1666672349 or http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/25/the-14-teens-killed-by-cops-since-michael-brown.html; already, these sources are outdated.) These are dire times, reminiscent of eras past; our nation is again in crisis.
Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation (raceforward.org) organizes the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice, and this year’s Facing Race conference, November 13-15 2014 in Dallas, Texas, drew its largest attendance yet. Community Studies students Jessica Flores –then on field study at The Door in New York City (door.org)—and Gus Alexander, who will begin her field study this summer, were there. Here are their reports from the conference.