Last Updated September 4, 2020

Current Work

In the fall semester, research is continuing by students in two graduate seminars and one undergraduate course. The Steering Committee is also working to gather community perspectives on the Founder's Memorial and plan programming that can facilitate dialogue on topics related to the Task Force. Among the events being planned for the fall semester are a series of "Doc Talks" featuring the Co-Chairs discussing historical documents found through Task Force research; presentations by students and student researchers; a webinar with Professor Marisa Fuentes and Professor Deborah Gray White about the Scarlet and Black Project at Rutgers University; and a panel about the legal battle to change the Charter in the 1960s.

Summer 2020

In addition to cosponsoring the inaugural Juneteenth Lecture Series and hosting a webinar on Monuments, Movements, and Racism on Campus (now available on YouTube), this summer the Task Force continued to meet regularly by videoconference. Three undergraduate research fellows conducted research on the evolution of the curriculum at Rice and on the number of people William Marsh Rice enslaved over time. Under the leadership of Task Force member Dr. Fabiola López-Durán, another group of undergraduates and graduate students began research on the built landscape of the university campus. Working together with other partners on campus, the Task Force signed an anti-racist solidarity action plan and co-sponsored the appointment of Bryan Washington as the University's first Scholar-in-Residence for Racial Justice. The Task Force also collaborated with Fondren Library to hire a postdoctoral research associate to assist in research efforts.

Spring 2020

In the Spring 2020 semester, the steering committee of the Task Force met four times and organized four working groups around Research and Teaching, Campus Programming, Community Outreach, and Review of Similar Projects. We cosponsored a presidential lecture by Dr. Ruth Simmons, who also met with the Task Force to talk about her experience commissioning the Brown University Committee on Slavery and Justice. The Steering Committee also voted to join the Universities Studying Slavery (USS) consortium, and one member traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia, for the spring meeting of USS to learn more about the group. The co-chairs taught two COLL courses in which undergraduate students began research work.