News and Announcements

Victor Ray in TIME: "Critical Race Theory’s Merchants of Doubt"

Monday, August 1, 2022
Protests over George Floyd’s 2020 murder were the largest civil rights demonstrations in American history. The brutal footage of officer Derek Chauvin’s suffocating knee on George Floyd’s neck led many white Americans to, at least briefly, acknowledge the reality of structural racism in policing. In response, corporations questioned their diversity policies, “defund the police” became an activist rallying cry, and books on anti-racism became unexpected bestsellers. A narrative arose that America experienced a “racial reckoning” that challenged white racism’s worst excesses.

Iowa PBS Presents Telling Our Own Story, Featuring Venise Berry

Tuesday, May 31, 2022
This June, Iowa PBS presents Telling Our Own Story, four films produced by Black Iowan independent filmmakers providing insights on topics that have dominated recent headlines and Black culture since Iowa became a state. The unique perspectives of these filmmakers show what life is like for Black Iowans and provide a window for other cultures to see where similarities and differences exist. On Tuesday, June 7 at 8 p.m, Professor Venise Berry and filmmaker S. Torriano Berry spotlight Black Iowans who have made their mark on the state and world with their film, Black History.

Victor Ray's Forthcoming Book on Critical Race Theory Receives a Starred Review in Publisher's Weekly

Tuesday, May 31, 2022
University of Iowa sociologist Ray debuts with an illuminating primer on critical race theory. He details the field’s genesis in legal studies—specifically the insight that ostensibly race-neutral laws can perpetuate racist outcomes—and its incorporation of other social sciences. A brief overview of racism as “a basic organizing principle in America’s political history” (the three-fifths compromise, Jim Crow) is followed by lucid explanations of key concepts in critical race theory, including the idea that race is not an immutable biological attribute, but a malleable social and political construction used to justify exploitation.