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About DK Summer Institute

The Democratizing Knowledge Summer Institute at Rutgers University-Newark, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, brought together a global cohort of faculty, advanced doctoral and other terminal degree students, and scholar-activists from the humanities and social sciences across the U.S. to examine the current state of U.S. higher education; explore critical dialogues among community organizations, activists, and scholar-activists; and embark upon collaborative strategies to create a more just academy. Together, scholar-activists and community partners shared how these collaborations rely on new, sometimes unexpected, kinds of institutional transformation and change—both in the academy and in our communities.

The DK Project is an initiative inaugurated at Syracuse University in 2009 with the intent to make knowledge production more open, inclusive, and democratic. It was from that initiative that the Summer Institute was launched in 2016 at Syracuse University. In 2017, the Summer Institute was hosted by Rutgers University–Newark, and, in 2018, it was hosted by Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. This endeavor was a collaborative effort among the three institutions and we wish to acknowledge our partners: from Syracuse University, the Founding Members of Democratizing Knowledge, Linda Carty, Associate Professor, African-American Studies and Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Distinguished Professor, Women's and Gender Studies, Sociology, and Cultural Foundations of Education & Dean’s Professor of Humanities and from Spelman College, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies and Erica L. Williams, Associate Professor of Anthropology.

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