IRISE has developed its existing programming to include a variety of opportunities for students, faculty and the community to engage in research and advocacy projects related to inequality including, but not limited to, project grants, workshops, lecture series, course development and community outreach.
IRISE has identified racial inequality in education and health as its main focus of research for the 2018-2020 academic years. Specifically, the research mission of IRISE is to support community engaged interdisciplinary research that addresses racial disparity through qualitative or quantitative methodology, creative works, as well as projects that provide policy prescription or analysis. Given the interrelated nature of education, health, housing and income, we will consider all projects that illuminate the impact of racial inequality in our region consistent with the vision of DU Impact 2025.
The research team has conducted oral histories with living alums, conducted extensive original research to identify early alumnae, and developed an exhibition documenting the history of early (pre-1945) Black women at DU.
What kinds of stories can young people tell if they write about their neighborhoods, using the memories of established residents? With support from Esteban Gómez, and Tribal Zyphers, students at North High School will produce short-form documentaries.
Dr. Sigumbe Muyeba and Dr. Rebecca Galemba of Korbel are leading a Jobs With Justice evaluation project of the I-70 corridor construction job targets for women and minorities set by Denver City Council.
Gang Rescue and Support Project (GRASP) is a peer-run intervention program that works with youth who are at-risk of gang involvement or are presently active in gangs, helps families of gang victims, and serves as a youth advocate.
Led by IRISE Community Scholar Hasira "Soul" Ashemu, The Righteous Rage Institute creates a powerful pathway educating emerging leaders, to transform acts of injustice from MOMENTS INTO MOVEMENTS for change.
The Commerce City Clean Water Project is producing a best practices guide for local and state government agencies. The guide will encourage partnerships and collaboration and provide opportunities for data sharing, information dissemination and the development of research questions.
The Health Equity Community Exchange is an online public use database culminating from a year long environmental scan of health equity in the state of CO. The website facilitates collaboration and coordination between a variety of entities and also houses an extensive resource library.
The Spirituals project is a collaborative interdisciplinary research project that examines the relationships between music, social justice, and race. The project is centered on The Spirituals Project (TSP) is a multicultural, multigenerational, and interfaith 70-member community choir founded in 1998 with a unique tripartite mission: performance, social justice, and education based at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music.
CULTIVATING, PROTECTING AND TRANSFORMING THE DISCOURSE ON RACIAL SCHOLARSHIP
RAGE accordingly offers critical insight into one of the most vexing topics of our day. In an era of Black Lives, the Wall, the Flint Water Crisis, and Standing Rock (to name but a few), everyone is talking about race. Not surprisingly, race scholars have often been front and center in these formulations as seen in scores of recent books, op-eds, essays, blogs, articles and resulting backlash.
Racial justice scholarship often illuminates and articulates the conditions and circumstances that minoritized communities live and experience on a daily basis and over generations. The very best of racial justice scholarship puts the tools of knowledge production into the hands of the communities experiencing the impacts of socio structural inequality and systemic oppression. It also does the work of translating or speaking multiple languages including academic publication, policy engagement, grassroots community organizing, and often the politically charged work of resisting mainstream approaches to research and praxis.
I’m honored and humbled to be taking on this interim director position because I believe that IRISE models this approach to racial justice research, scholarship and creative work. I’ve been involved as an affiliated faculty for years and witnessed the power of being transparent and unapologetic about our goals to use research, scholarship, and creative works toward “dismantling systems of oppression and inequity” as articulated by IRISE founding director, Dr. Tom Romero. As someone who has lived watching these systems impact my own family and community, it is my responsibility and obligation to be part of this dismantling and reconstruction. Thank you for this opportunity. I look forward to building together toward a better future.
To learn more about Professor Beltrán and her scholarship, visit her portfolio: https://portfolio.du.edu/rbeltra6
Ramona Beltrán, MSW, PhD
University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work
Interim Director, Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (in)Equalit
IRISE Postdoctoral Fellow David Barillas Chón discusses the devastating impact of Covid-19 on migrant populations and the disproportionate likelihood of not only contracting the virus, but dying due to the continued assault on human rights by the current administration. Additionally, the indirect impact of Covid-19 on migrant populations including education and income loss, pose a profound threat to the well-being of these vulnerable communities.
Women of color were serious contenders in many of Denver's 2018 local elections. Examined through the lens of academic research, their campaign experiences reveal much about how far women of color of come –– but also how far they still have to go to ensure equitable representation.