The launch of a new International Centre on Racism (ICR) has been deemed vital at a time when race is at the forefront of public debate.
Edge Hill University’s new ICR has been set up to deliver advanced research on global questions concerning racism, building on the University’s long history of antiracism.
Professor James Renton, director of the new centre, explained his ambition was to “lead concrete work” on an international level that dissects all racisms, including antisemitism. Previously, most initiatives have focused on particular racisms or individual countries.
He said: “This centre really puts Edge Hill on the map in the UK and internationally at a time when racism studies are at a critical moment.
“It’s a sad fact that the vast majority of people I speak to – and that’s people outside of academia – have experienced or witnessed racism.
“People are aware that racism needs to be at the top of the political and social agenda.”
Edge Hill has an extensive history of racism studies; during the 60s and 70s the University’s then Principal, PKC Millins, was at the forefront of national efforts to use education as a means of improving race relations.
As late as the 1990s, the University was the only UK institution to deliver an undergraduate degree in race and ethnic relations.
Deputy-Director, Dr Jenny Barrett, added: “The ICR is important because it will address all racisms, including antisemitism, which is often dealt with separately, and will tackle big, global questions.”
The centre is an official partner with MONITOR Global Intelligence on Racism, the high-profile multimedia magazine dedicated to bringing expertise on racism to public debate, which is based at the European University Institute in Italy.
The ICR is supported by a global team of experts in Europe, North America and Australia.