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Illinois Global Institute August 2021 e-newsletter


From the Director

the front sign and entrance of Coble Hall, 801 South Wright Street  
front entrance to Coble Hall, new home to IGI  

We are looking ahead to an academic year that will have some important transitions for the IGI and the area and global studies centers and thematic programs.

First, I am excited to share that Colleen Murphy will be Acting Executive Director of the IGI for the 2021-2022 year. Colleen is the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor Law and has served over many years as Director of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program, now part of IGI. Colleen’s scholarship concerns global questions of transitional justice and reconciliation, such as the work of national truth and reconciliation commissions, and she is the Principal Investigator for the project on transitional justice developed by the IGI and several centers and programs as part of the Chancellor’s Call to Action to Address Racism and Social Injustice. During this year I will be working on a book on the history of legal challenges to racial discrimination in Brazil and look forward to returning to the IGI next year.

We are also in the midst of a big move: nine units within the IGI (CAS, CEAPS, CGS, CLACS, CSAMES, EUC, LCBS, REEEC, and WGGP) are moving to Coble Hall, at 801 S. Wright St., next door to the University Bookstore. ACDIS will continue in its current offices in the Armory while we work to complete the transition into Coble Hall. We look forward to welcoming you there as well as to our closer proximity to many of the departments of our affiliated faculty and students.

Wishing you the best for the remaining days of summer,

Jerry Dávila
Executive Director
Illinois Global Institute



  No justice no peace from Black Lives Matter protest in Denver
  Credit: Geoff Alexander / flickr

IGI, Centers and Programs will explore experiences with transitional justice as part of the Chancellor’s Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice

Program to draw on global experiences with truth and reconciliation

The Illinois Global Institute and the area and global studies centers and thematic programs are one of several recipients of research funding from the university to address racism and social injustice. The IGI centers and programs’ Call to Action proposal, "Blueprint for Transitional Justice in the US: Building on Lessons and Insights from Global Perspectives," will bring together extensive experience for implementing the project. With over 600 affiliated faculty and a proposed network of regional universities, this project will bridge international experiences with transitional justice with the US challenges of racism and social injustice.  Over 40 countries have pursued transitional justice to address histories of violence, state impunity, authoritarianism and racism. Transitional justice processes seek truth, justice, reparations, reform, and guarantees of non-recurrence.

The IGI project will map and adapt international experiences with transitional justice as a foundation for a framework to redress the U.S. history of racial and gender-based injustice. The IGI proposal includes two objectives: (1) identifying comparative insights from country and region-specific engagement with transitional justice for the US, and (2) creating a Midwest transitional justice network at Illinois housed within IGI.

To help reach these objectives, IGI will host a speaker series, with eight events from September 2021 to April 2022. Each month will be hosted by one of the area and global studies centers and thematic programs involved in the grant and will have a regional focus with themes bearing on transitional justice, including policing, reparations, gender justice, economic inequality/justice, educational reform, and the role of youth. We will also engage students and local practitioners within K-14 and minority-serving institutions through outreach activities and incorporating transitional justice perspectives and themes into IGI curricula.  The IGI will also create a database of regional expertise on transitional justice, build communications with regular updates on regional events or publications, and host an August 2022 regional conference on transitional justice at UIUC to build future collaborations and initiatives.

“Global and regional experiences with transitional justice over the past forty years offer invaluable insights for understanding the impacts of transitional justice projects, the kinds of conditions needed to achieve those impacts, as well as cautionary lessons for creating successful transitional justice.  We are extremely excited to facilitate programming that can communicate those insights and to create a community of academics and community actors based in the Midwest and engaged in efforts redress racism and social injustice both locally and nationally.” – Colleen Murphy

Chancellor Jones announced the Call to Action awards in July 2021, with a $2 million annual commitment by the university to focus on the intellectual and scholarly talent of our university to examine two of the greatest challenges facing our society and seek new solutions. In doing so, he recognized the critical need for universities across our nation to prioritize research focused on systemic racial inequities and injustices that exist not only in our communities but in higher education itself. The Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Research Program provides support for academic research and the expansion of community-based knowledge that advances the understanding of systemic racism and generationally embedded racial disparity.


IGI News

  Map showing location of Coble Hall, 801 South Wright Street
  New home for IGI and area and global studies centers and thematic programs

Coble Hall is new home for IGI

IGI and nine area and global studies centers and thematic programs now housed on Wright Street

Illinois Global Institute is pleased to announce our move to Coble Hall. The Institute and nine of the area and global studies centers and thematic programs have moved into the Wright Street building (801 S. Wright St.) just in time for the start of the 2021 fall semester. The former home to the Graduate College will eventually be home to all the centers and programs by the fall of 2022.

Situated next to the Illini Union Bookstore on Wright Street, close to the heart of campus, Coble Hall is now home to IGI (main office - 104). The current area and global studies centers and thematic programs that moved to Coble are Center for African Studies (CAS main office - 125); Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS main office - 211); Center for Global Studies (CGS main office - 02); Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS main office - 223); Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES main office - 125); European Union Center (EUC main office - 205); Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies (LCBS main office - 223); Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (REEEC main office - 107); and Women and Gender in Global Perspectives (WGGP main office - 104). The Program in Arms Control & Domestic & International Security (ACDIS) will continue to be in the Armory for the next year.

The former YWCA building was built in 1913 and has served many different purposes over the years. It was renamed Coble Hall in 1969 after Arthur B. Coble, head of the Math Department from 1933 to 1947 and professor from 1918 to 1947. IGI looks forward to welcoming our students, faculty, and staff to our new home.