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Critical Philosophy of Race

"The world does not become raceless or will not become unracialized by an act of assertion. The act of enforcing racelessness…is itself a racial act."

Toni Morrison


Racism is not just a matter of personal feeling. It is deeply embedded in the structure of and institutions of our society and of the world in general. It is reflected, for example, in the distribution of wealth, of health resources, and educational opportunities.

The Critical Philosophy of Race (CPR) seeks to develop the philosophical tools necessary to meet the ethical and intellectual challenges posed by new forms of racism as well as the legacy of the inherited racisms. It also turns the spotlight on philosophy itself, its history and the shocking lack of diversity within many philosophy departments today.

The CPR initiative of the Rock Institute of Ethics seeks to:

  • promote the recruitment, retention, and graduation of racial minorities both at the graduate and undergraduate levels;
  • sponsor workshops on contentious issues with a view to promoting interracial understanding;
  • be a clearing house for resources that promote the study of the history and current state of race thinking and racism;
  • mentor young philosophy faculty toward tenure;
  • become a site for interdisciplinary engagement with issues of race both in the Penn State system and more broadly;
  • set up global as well as local partnerships at every level with a view to promoting a better informed discussion of racial issues.