College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences - University of Houston
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CLASS Statement on Race and Social Justice

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences stand with the African American community and all other oppressed communities against systemic, social and racial oppression. We assert that racism, discrimination, classism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other weapons of divisive hate have no place on college campuses or in civil society, domestic or abroad. Read the complete statement.

News & Events

Special Committee on Race and Social Justice


The Special Committee on Race and Social Justice in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) at the University of Houston (UH) was convened in June 2020 amid the unprecedented upsurge of Black Lives Matter protests across the United States and the world in the aftermath of the police murder of George Floyd and so many other African Americans and other people of color. 


As an expression in practice of the College’s solidarity with contemporary civil rights struggles against systemic oppression, and as a duty of our greater educational mission, the Special Committee on Race and Social Justice was created to dedicate resources to deepening the understanding of race and racism in the University community and the wider public. The College is committed to advancing education in order to confront and eradicate injustice in all its forms and fostering a diverse and compassionate civil society that safeguards liberty and equality for all. 


The primary activity of the CLASS Special Committee on Race and Social Justice is the organization of the CLASS 2020-21 Lecture Series on Race and Social Justice, a prominent series of distinguished invited speakers with expertise in the critical study of race and racial oppression in its multiple intersections with various aspects of social and political life.

The themes to be addressed by the CLASS 2020-21 Lecture Series on Race and Social Justice included: the COVID-19 pandemic and racial dimensions of public health inequalities, voting rights and voter suppression, policing and the criminalization of people of color, the disproportionate mass incarceration of African Americans and other racial minorities in the United States, the racial foundations of modern capitalism and the economics of racial oppression, the racial underpinnings of contemporary immigration policy and border policing, racial injustice for Latinx communities, and racism in academic life and the relationship of universities to societal racial injustice. 


The CLASS 2020-21 Lecture Series on Race and Social Justice consisted of various events over the 2020-21 academic year, beginning in September and culminating in April. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all events were live-streamed webinars, free and open to the public. 

Committee Members

  • Nicholas De Genova, Ph.D.

    Committee Chair 
    Chair of the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies
    Professor of Anthropology

  • Diedra B. Fontaine, MBA

    Committee Co-Chair
    Director of CLASS Alumni Relations

  • Elizabeth Gregory, Ph.D.

    Professor of English and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies
    Director of Institute for Research on Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies
    Department of English

  • Monica Perales, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of History and Mexican American Studies
    Director of the Center for Public History
    Department of History

  • LaRahia Smith

    Communication Manager
    Jack J. Valenti School of Communication

For communications and marketing requests, please contact Diedra Fontaine, co-chair of the Special Committee.

Lecture Archive Recordings