Intersections - the IAS eNewsletter

Dean's Corner

Black Scholars and Artists on Subjects that Matter

Bruce BurgettI write this "Dean's Corner" from inside the UW’s third quarter of COVID operations.  Most classes are remote. National trends show outbreaks on the upswing, as predicted. 

It’s two weeks since Election Day, with the results pending certification, and contested by the party in power. At the center of the elections themselves are questions of voting rights and access, particularly for people of color, as the demographics of the country become increasingly multiracial.  Kamala Harris is poised to become the first Black Asian female Vice President.

On some days, after hours of Zoom, it can seem like everything has changed and we’ve entered a new reality.  Yet, we know that everything we are living through has a history. Indeed, in many ways, the economic, health, and political disruptions of this moment underscore and amplify pre-existing social inequities.

As the Black scholars, artists, and leaders featured in this issue remind us, the struggle for democracy, freedom, and justice is a long-term commitment.  In their work the struggle takes many forms—education, environment, story and representation—all essential to human thriving and our collective future.

In our faculty feature, Melanie Malone speaks on soil, science, and social justice: the intimate ways that the health and livelihood of historically marginalized and minoritized communities depends upon environmentally-just policy and action.

In our alumni feature, Ayva Thomas speaks on liberating education and creating emancipatory spaces for students of color, to facilitate their voices and leadership.

In our student feature, Troy Landrum, Jr speaks on the importance of discovering and unfolding his family’s stories of migration and survival, to understanding his own place in history that has not been told.

As you will see, with this issue, we are piloting something new: each of these articles is a hybrid of print and video.  We appreciate this opportunity to share not only the printed words, but also the voices of our featured faculty, alum, and student.

As always, you can learn more about what students, faculty, and alumni are doing on the IAS News Blog.  To keep up to date on IAS events open to the campus and the public, you can also subscribe to a weekly digest of upcoming events.  If you are an IAS alum, discover ways to connect and get involved by visiting our alumni page online.

Past issues of Intersections are accessible from the right sidebar here.

Feel free to send comments on these stories or ideas for others to

Bruce Burgett
Dean, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences



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