Fiscal Year 2020
Brown University Financial Report

Making an Impact

Through rigorous research and teaching, scholars at Brown are focused on addressing critical societal challenges in support of peace, justice and economic prosperity nationally and globally.

Brown pledged in its strategic plan, Building on Distinction: A New Plan for Brown, to invest heavily in scholarship aimed at “Creating Peaceful, Just and Prosperous Societies,” bolstering an existing strength at the University. Launched in 2014, the plan identified this academic theme as a focus of investments in faculty, fellows, programming and infrastructure.

While individuals across a wide array of academic departments contribute to these efforts, scholarly work and teaching at four centers in particular focus on this goal. This report focuses on the work of these four academic centers and institutes.

Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America

Through thought-provoking discussions, exhibitions and scholarship, CSREA is helping define, investigate and raise awareness of systemic racism in the U.S. and beyond.

Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice

Brown is leading the way in understanding slavery’s enduring legacy in the U.S. and across the globe, inspiring study and action at other American institutions.

Political Theory Project

The Political Theory Project is transforming political discourse by diving beneath easy ideological labels and encouraging debate between brilliant minds from across the political spectrum.

Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Experts at the Watson Institute are informing national and international policy through data collection and analysis that tackles major global and societal challenges.

Economic inequality. Systemic racism. Political polarization. Climate instability.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed — and in some cases worsened — many of these long-standing issues, both in the U.S. and abroad. Yet long before 2020’s global health crisis, political volatility and heightened public awareness of racial injustice across America, scholars at Brown University have been developing evidence-based solutions to confronting these and other pressing global challenges.

This report details the ways in which Brown has positioned itself as a leading force in scholarship that has a positive impact on society. Its faculty experts in international and public affairs are informing policies on urbanization, security, labor standards, social equity and other issues across the world. Faculty and students at Brown have introduced new ways of thinking about democracy and society, engaging world leaders from across the political spectrum. And Brown’s faculty have led national conversations on racial inequality, fighting for the eradication of anti-Black racism and advocating for a close examination of the legacy of slavery in the U.S.

We will establish Brown as a leading center of international studies that integrates rigorous scholarship and education with active engagement in the world of international affairs, and we will support scholarship and public discourse on institutions and ideas that promote social justice and economic prosperity domestically and internationally.


Making an Impact report contributed by Brown’s Office of University Communications with the Office of the President