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Temple University Receives Grant to Help Fund Anti-Racism Research Center | Local news

State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta awarded Temple University a state grant of $ 1.3 million to help finance the construction of the university’s new Anti-Racism Research Center and for the modernization of the Department of Africology and African American Studies.

“Racism remains a threat to our country and our society, so the funds made available to the Temple University Anti-Racism Center and to modernize its African American Studies department are a valuable investment in the future of Temple University and its impact on the larger community, ”Kenyatta said in a statement.

The Temple State grant was among two awarded by Kenyatta to North Philadelphia for redevelopment projects. The other state grant went to Sharswood 1 LLC for $ 2.125 million to build a grocery store and mall.

The grants come from the state’s capital redevelopment assistance program, which is administered by the Budget Office for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects.

“I am very happy to see that the money from this grant is being used for two critical areas for our community,” said Kenyatta. “Adding a supermarket to this section of North Philadelphia is of huge benefit to voters and other businesses and retailers in the area.”

Temple professor and chair of Africa’s African-American studies and studies department, Molefi Kete Asante, said the grant was important for the university.

“State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta has always been a strong supporter of our department and North Philadelphia, and we are very grateful for his work,” he said.

“State ownership is an important statement as it affirms his trust and vision for Temple University,” he said.

“This places the university in the proper space to be the leader in terms of human rights issues and questions, and the Department of Africa and African American Studies is extremely happy to see this gratifying response. of the Commonwealth, “he added.

Temple will begin construction on the Center for Anti-Racism next week as part of the university’s $ 1 million anti-racism initiative. The center is expected to be completed in spring 2022.

Consultants for the project will be Ian Smith Design Group and Pride Enterprise. The center will be located at Mazur Hall, formerly known as Anderson Hall.

Students and professors from the departments of political science, psychology, sociology and urban education will be able to lead information workshops and promote social and cultural changes in the center.

The center will also host a variety of events and programs. Professors and students from other universities in the Philadelphia area will also be able to use the center.

“The Center for Anti-Racism Research intends to bring to life a cultural component of our quest for a common humanity,” Asante said.

“We will explore issues related to all forms of oppression and hierarchy,” he said. “Issues of race, class and gender will be studied and examined as we work to create a much more harmonious community than in the past.

“All students, cultures and communities are welcome to come to the center,” he added. “If you want to work on particular issues of race and racism and have them disseminated, discussed and debated, we are interested in you. “

Asante was inspired to create the Center for Anti-Racism after the death of George Floyd in May 2020 and by the book “How to be an Anti-Racist”, written by Ibram X. Kendi.

He said Temple will have honored guests to celebrate the opening of the space.

“We plan to invite Ibram Kendi, a Temple graduate and working in our department, to be the guest of honor,” Asante said.

“We are also planning to have former Temple President Richard M. Englert,” he said. “After the murder of George Floyd, I personally wrote a letter to President Englert encouraging him to take certain initiatives that I had in mind.”

“One of the initiatives was to create the Center for Research against Racism,” he added. “It would add other ideas in terms of bridges to community programs. But we must also pay tribute to him for being open to the idea during his final year as president of Temple University.

Asante said what he wanted people to take away from the center is optimism.

“We want the center to be an uplifting and welcoming space where people feel that anything is possible,” he said.