Brave Space: Shardé Davis and Mason Holland

In the summer of 2020, UConn students made a pointed observation: the University had no single course devoted to the epidemic of anti-Black racism in the U.S.

a woman in front of a table

Shardé Davis, assistant professor of communication, is a co-creator of the hashtag #BlackInTheIvory and one of the faculty coordinators of UConn's course on anti-Black racism.

In a virtual town hall hosted by UConn’s African American Cultural Center amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in July 2020, student Guymara Manigat ’21 (CAHNR) and alumna Wanjiku Gatheru ’20 (CAHNR), pointed out that the University responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with a 1-credit hour course, but had not done something similar to address the pandemic of anti-Black racism.

President Tom Katsouleas promised to make such a course part of the curriculum, and after a collaborative effort led by faculty of color across the University, the online course, “U.S. Anti-Black Racism,” opened to the University community in early fall 2020.

In the latest installment of the Brave Space podcast series, Julie Bartucca spoke with Shardé Davis, assistant professor of communication, one of the three faculty coordinators for the course, and Mason Holland ’23 (CLAS), president of the UConn chapter of the NAACP, about what the course means for UConn and what else the University needs to do to address the issue of anti-Black racism.