Democratizing Racial Justice seeks to put higher education in service of communities of color. We seek to transform the role of higher education, through increasing access to Ethnic Studies and Humanities in service of racial justice. The DRJ is combating the erasure of people of color and their histories by centering people of color in creating collective voices for racial justice. With $5 million in support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we are able to create a new vision for higher education in our community and beyond.



The DRJ offers resources via community-based endeavors to envision and realize racial justice. Through site-based collaborations and partnerships, Democratizing Racial Justice elevates co-created community knowledge for just societies, transforms access to the academy for people of color and first-gen students, and propagates transformative pedagogies in Ethnic Studies and the humanities.

Community Projects

Workers on the Rise panel

DRJ Fellowships

Our first-gen graduate fellowships will prepare and hold public talks with community fellows, contribute to special projects and events, and will distribute accessible summaries online and through our newsletter. They are providers of our open space to the public as well as to our team members.

People of the community at buffet

The People’s Academy

The project mobilizes year-long People’s Academies, in which multidisciplinary teams, facilitated by an anchoring community organization, support community-based groups in imagining racial justices for themselves and implementing projects in which Ethnic Studies and humanities experts help create the world those communities imagine.

Group photo of ESEA 2022

The Educators’ Academy

The Ethnic Studies Educators’ Academy will engage community members in analyzing race and shaping racially just visions, supported by decolonial methodologies in humanities, education, social sciences, and arts. The knowledge emerging from these collaborations will be shared through academic research publications.

Who We Serve

Connecting Educators & Students
with the San Antonio Community

Our students, faculty, and community members will work in multiple endeavors and pathways; from internships, fellowships, teaching academies, and more to fight against racist ideologies. Our educators and students will learn to build and develop meaningful relationships with their local community from diverse backgrounds and origins by taking part in our fight for a just future.

News and Events

October 27 30, 7:00 - 10:00 pm

After a workshop series focused on: self-care, community activist engagement, and art; the participants of the Spray the Word will join forces with their facilitators for a healing and empowering night of dynamic performances. This culminating event features performances of poetry by local arts activists: Joyous Windrider, Triz, Johnny Rivers III, and musical performances by Joaquin Abrego & Luis Gonzalez of Los Nahuatlatos. Hosted by the Poet Laureate of San Antonio Andrea Vocab Sanderson. Visuals and art by: Triz & Dote. This virtual event is free and open to the public! RSVP on Eventbrite: bit.ly/spray-word    

Location: Virtual

November 03, 5:30 - 8:30 pm

Our invited and renowned guests will share an evening conversation that promises to inspire audiences to imagine a just and wonderous future. By exploring stories of spirituality, wellness, sustainability, the body, and hope, activists Angela Davis, Chandra Mohanty, and Omi Jones will consider how the community can mobilize change and share their energy with future generations. The audience will learn how art and activism have sustained Democratizing Racial Justice efforts to deconstruct borders and the possibilities of reimagining Borderlands. Guests will focus on the urgency of sustaining this vital intellectual and daily work. Dialogue with the audience promises to identify the current issues that confront the San Antonio community, the urgent political issues that our communities face, and the potential for a future that centers justice and community.

Location: Buena Vista Theater, UTSA Downtown Campus

Make A Gift

To support our racial justice efforts, please consider donating to the Department of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (REGSS) or the Women's Studies Institute (WSI).