Brown & Slavery & Justice

Education and Curriculum

Programs and initiatives at Brown have spurred new curricula on slavery and justice in K-12 classrooms, boosted support for historically underrepresented students and provided Providence residents of all ages with new insights on racial slavery in New England.

“One of the most obvious and meaningful ways for Brown to take responsibility for its past,” wrote the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice in its 2006 report, “is by dedicating its resources to improving the quality of education available to the children of our city and state.”

For decades, Brown had engaged with Providence’s public schools through a vast array of programs and initiatives, providing educational enrichment, teacher training and summer learning. The University’s involvement in local schools grew further in the wake of the 2006 Slavery and Justice Report.

Today, Brown remains heavily invested in supporting a bright future for students in Providence’s public schools. The University’s permanent $10 million endowment — born out of the recommendations of the Slavery and Justice Report — helps fund critical construction projects, learning initiatives and student support programs at elementary, middle and secondary schools each year. Brown’s master’s in teaching degree, which meets 100% of financial need for students, embeds a diverse cohort of teachers-in-training in city classrooms. And Brown researchers are bringing new insights on slavery to K-12 students everywhere through the Choices Program high school curriculum.

Slavery and Justice Learning Initiatives

“Racial Slavery in the Americas,” a high school curriculum developed by Brown’s Choices Program and the CSSJ, is transforming students’ understanding of, and grasp on, the history of racial slavery and colonialism.
CSSJ’s walking tours examine the history behind Brown, Rhode Island and their roles in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Visiting relevant sites across College Hill, K-12 students, college students and adults are invited to think critically about the state’s complex past.

Initiatives for Students at Providence Schools

Established in 2007 by the recommendation in the Report from the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, the Fund, which is a permanent $10 million endowment, provides consistent financial support for the Providence Public School District.
Brown’s one-year MAT program embeds students in Providence classrooms, preparing them to meet the pressing needs of urban secondary schools. Each year, up to 10 MAT students pledge to teach in or around Providence for at least three years after graduation.
Each year, students, faculty and staff at Brown participate in more than 80 different programs that engage students in the Providence Public School District, providing after-school enrichment, tutoring, summer learning and college prep.
Throughout the academic year, Brown students offer free online tutoring to K-12 students who need it most. All elementary and middle school students in Providence public schools are eligible.

Education Research

Run by Brown’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform, the National Student Support Accelerator aims to equalize access to quality tutoring on a national scale, particularly for students from underrepresented groups.
The Annenberg Institute’s national working paper series provides open access to high-quality research, much of which touches on structural inequality, issues of racism in the classroom and more.
A team of researchers from Brown and Harvard universities is conducting a series of studies aimed at understanding educational inequality and opportunity gaps in the Bay State.