Melissa Harris-Perry—the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, where she is the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center on Gender, Race, and Politics—joined members of the Harvard community at the Schlesinger Library to talk about the Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research. This 44-member coalition includes institutions that have agreed to support and advance cutting-edge research on women and girls of color from a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. The Radcliffe Institute, including the Schlesinger, is part of the collaborative, as is the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, directed by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
This spring, Harris-Perry and her staff have been partnering with institutions from the collaborative to host intimate gatherings of scholars for facilitated conversations about their work, the state of research in their fields or focus areas, and the gaps that remain. After convening groups at New York University, the University of Connecticut, and Virginia Tech, they discussed pioneering work undertaken by 21 Harvard faculty colleagues, including Daniel Carpenter, the Radcliffe faculty director of the social sciences program and the Freed Professor of Government; Radcliffe Institute Dean Lizabeth Cohen; Matthew Desmond, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences and author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Crown, 2016); Annette Gordon-Reed, the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute, the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School, and a professor of history; Evelynn M. Hammonds, the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and a professor of African and African American studies; and Nancy Krieger, a professor of social epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.