The newly established Center for Racial and Restorative Justice, a clearinghouse for research, scholarship, advocacy and action, aims to educate students and the greater Eau Claire community about the history of race in America and the barriers to upward mobility for people of color in areas such as education, criminal justice, health care, commerce and housing.
Through a multipronged approach, the center will ensure that UW-Eau Claire is preparing graduates for life in a truly changing landscape. Understanding the concepts of race, justice, equity, equality, restorative justice, and critical identity theories will help our graduates stand above their counterparts as well as become leaders in ongoing social and cultural change.
Strategic goals for the center
The center’s approach to preparing graduates for life has several strategic goals as its centerpiece for social and cultural change:
- Provide a space for research on race to advance and enhance a comprehensive UW-Eau Claire education.
- Develop a body of research, scholarship, advocacy, and action regarding Indigenous Peoples.
- Present speakers, researchers, and practitioners on the topics of race.
- Coordinate, develop, and implement university-wide trainings, workshops, and engagement opportunities to enhance critical understandings of race and justice.
- Secure funding to support strategic and operational initiatives that advance the impact of the center.
- Provide opportunities for student engagement to create sustainable change.
- Sponsor mentoring and professional development opportunities for students of color to ensure they are prepared for success and leadership in various settings.
Racing Toward Justice
“Racing Toward Justice” is the flagship program of the Center for Racial and Restorative Justice. The new monthly program features speakers on topics of race and social injustice and provides microgrants for student programs or initiatives committed to advancing racial justice. The program also will sponsor diversity fellows each academic year.
So many of us have different experiences, perspectives and stories — and I think that’s what’s so great about the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. We’re all different, coming together to learn, grow and find our way. Providing this center and resources is an incredible tool that students will be able to take into their everyday lives and bring with them wherever they go.