About the Center For Race & Gender

UndocuNation! 2013The Center for Race and Gender (CRG) is an interdisciplinary research center at the University of California, Berkeley that supports critical and engaged research on race, gender, and their intersections.  Launched as a result of the 1999 Ethnic Studies Student Strike, the CRG cultivates innovative research and creative projects, and generates exchange among faculty and students throughout the university, between the university and local communities of color, and among scholars in the Bay Area, in the US, and around the globe.  

CRG engages in the following activities:

  • Enhances and sustains student research by providing grants to support their research projects, hosting a dissertation writing group and retreats, and organizing bi-weekly forums to spotlight emerging work;
  • Spotlights faculty research by providing a platform for advanced scholarship including forums, symposia, conferences, and institutes;
  • Catalyzes new major research initiatives, such as the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project and the Undocumented Student Research & Action Initiative, and hosts research working groups that are breaking new ground in race and gender scholarship;
  • Bridges research, culture, and community by supporting engaged community-based research projects and artistic works open to the public;
  • Builds relationships among local, national, and international scholars by organizing major events designed for scholarly exchange;
  • Provides a multimedia platform for research development, including a newsletter, an interactive website featuring audio and video recordings of events, and other publications

Organizational History

The creation of the Center for Race and Gender by the Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley on January 1, 2001, marked a major step forward by the University in recognition of significant new realities in the State of California and within the university community.

Ethnic Studies Student Strike (1999)Since its founding 134 years ago, U.C. Berkeley has grown into one of the foremost public universities in the nation and has become an internationally recognized center of teaching and research in the natural and social sciences and humanities.  UC Berkeley has served the State of California in many ways: intellectually, culturally, and economically. But in recent decades, the racial composition of the State has changed profoundly, and the Berkeley student body has mirrored this change by enrolling much greater numbers of Native American, African American, Latino, and Asian American students. Yet the university's faculty, administration, course offerings, and funding allocations lagged behind the needs and circumstances of the State's population and the new composition of Berkeley students.

Accordingly, in the great tradition of Berkeley student activism, in 1999 a group of students demanded, via direct action, that the university address a variety of issues, including failure to allocate faculty positions to the Department of Ethnic Studies and insufficient support for critical race research.  More about the transformative 1999 Ethnic Studies Student Strike can be learned from the short and powerful film, On Strike: Ethnic Studies 1969-1999

The agreement between the university, the students, and others committed the university to take action, one of which was the establishment of a new interdisciplinary research center. Although many other universities had already established research centers focusing on specific ethnic groups, and a handful had established broader-based centers focusing on critical race research, the decision by UC Berkeley to include gender as an integral component in the new center's mission put it in the vanguard. The recognition of the close linkages and intersections between race and gender inequality and oppression enabled the university to create a unique new entity - the Center for Race and Gender (CRG).  More about CRG's history can be found in this 2001 Berkeleyan article.

DONATE TO  CRG:
Your financial support provides much-needed funding to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing groundbreaking interdisciplinary research projects, community partnerships, and social justice projects of local and international scope.  Learn more about how to make a gift to CRG by clicking here.