The Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research (ABI) seeks to advance public understanding of the U.S. civil rights movement, both its powerful history and its unfinished agenda of racial and social justice.
VISION: Our vision is that scholarship and activism inform and strengthen each other and sustain social justice locally, regionally, nationally and globally.
MISSION: Our mission is to bridge the gap between academic research and community activism for racial and social justice. To do so, we stimulate and support initiatives and programs that cultivate dialogue and cooperation between scholarship and activism. Inspired by the work of longtime racial justice organizer, educator and journalist Anne Braden, we focus on the modern African American freedom movement, other modern peace and social justice movements, and the intersections among racial, economic, gender, and wider social justice.
CORE VALUES: Because the institute’s work grows out of U.S. history, with its legacy of white supremacy, we see race/racism as central elements in all aspects of social justice in the United States. Our work aims at uncovering those connections and at the successful bridging of racial divides, with a special focus on the Louisville community and the U.S. South.
The institute holds as its core value the humanitarian vision of Anne Braden, whose outlook was global, but whose activism was concentrated at the U.S. grassroots level. This 2001 statement from Anne summarizes our guiding principles:
“A new massive thrust toward racial justice will not alone solve all the problems that face us, but I am convinced that unless such a thrust develops—one that is global in its outlook—the other problems will not be solved. Because they are at the bottom of this society, when people of color move, the foundation shifts. . . In a sense, the battle is and always has been a battle for the hearts and mind of white people in this country. The fight against racism is not something we’re called on to help people of color with. We need to become involved as if our lives depended on it because, in truth, they do.”
A program of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Institute was established in November 2006 by the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. We opened officially on April 4, 2007.
Our Reading Room is located in 258 Ekstrom Library. Come visit us! We are open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 9-5; and Wednesday 9-6:00. We also are open by appointment late evenings, Fridays and weekends. Reach us at (502) 852-6142.
Posted on Monday, October 12th, 2009 at 2:44 am