Chriss Sneed: Managing Director at CURE

Photo of Chriss Sneed

Congratulations to Chriss Sneed, who will be joining CURE, Center for Urban and Racial Equity, as its Managing Director. CURE is focused on supporting social change through research-based policy initiatives, training, facilitation, and community engagement. In the past, CURE has worked with organizations and institutions in several U.S. cities; for instance, findings from a recent report on racism within the Philadelphia Court system has been cited by Philadelphia's Committee on Legislative Oversight. As Managing Director,  they will be directly collaborating with senior leadership on all aspects of organizational strategy and management, in addition to leading planning and implementation of research, project management, curriculum, development and knowledge-sharing activities.

Bandana Purkayastha-“Webinar: Experts Explain the Executive Order on Race and Sex Sterotyping”

Monday, October 19 – 12:00 pm EDT

Bandana Purkayastha (University of Connecticut) along with Shelley Correll (Stanford University) and Karyn Lacy (University of Michigan) will be holding a discussion on the article Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping? Where they’ll be talking further about the ideas articulated in executive order.

Register for the free webinar here.



Noel Cazenave: “A Community Organizer Takes on White Vigilantism”

Read Noel Cazenave's interview in The New Yorker, A Community Organizer Takes on White Vigilantism by Eliza Griswold.


Noel Cazenave, a professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut and the author of “Killing African Americans: Police and Vigilante Violence as a Racial Control Mechanism,” sees such resistance as part of a long history of white vigilantism. “Racial oppression has always been maintained through violence,” he told me. In the nineteen-fifties and sixties, white Americans posted signs in so-called sundown towns telling Black people that they would be met with violence if they were found outdoors after dark. Cazenave believes that today’s white mobs see Black Lives Matter activists as mounting a challenge to white dominance similar to the one mounted during the civil-rights era. “They’ve been told by Donald Trump that these are the people who are coming to take away their basic value,” he said. “This is a literal invasion.” Although the white groups are extrajudicial, many have sought to align themselves with police. Cazenave finds this unsurprising. “Police and vigilante violence not only have common origins and functions, and not only do they often complement one another, but they are often comprised of the same people,” he said. “Racist neighborhood culture and racist police culture fuel one another in an intense cycle of hatred directed toward those deemed to be racial outsiders.”


Matthew Hughey, Recent Media Appearances

31 Jan 2020. Interview for "Disputed NY Times '1619 Project' Already Shaping Schoolkids' Minds on Race.” Real Clear Investigations


After the interview Hughey states "That racial fatalism and reparations should inform the 1619 Project comes as no surprise to scholars who have studied race in America and responses to racism. “This is called Afro-pessimism,” said Matthew Hughey, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut who is also an adjunct faculty member of the Africana Studies Institute and in the Race, Ethnicity and Politics program. “There is a whole branch of thought that … racism is fundamental to the economic and political structure of the United States.” 





28 Jan 2020. Audio Interview for “A White Savior Complex,” Philanthropology Podcast(PBS).


After the interview Hughey states, "I mean what's the worst thing that someone could call you?  A racist . . . .  It's the ultimate white slur. It is the thing that white people are scared of . . . . the charge of racism is almost like ethnic slurs for white folks. Because you have all types of slurs and horrible things you can call people of color that have charged histories. You have a lot of slurs and people of color of use against white folks. But in a way folks even know them, and aren't even hurt by them.”


3 Nov 2019.  Audio Interview for “Code Switch,” National Public Radio, “Harriet Tubman’s ‘Visions’"

Hughey states "White people are assumed to be smart, to be hardworking, to be problem solvers to figure these things out and do - to do that through science and materialism." . . . .But with black characters, Hughey says, it's different. Think Michael Clarke Duncan in "The Green Mile," Whoopi Goldberg in "Ghost," Will Smith in "The Legend of Bagger Vance." Their character's heroism is based on… "A closer connection to the earth or the magic or the supernatural or the spiritual or the divine that white people somehow lost in their march toward civilization."  Hughey says that as black characters gain more visibility in Hollywood, balancing how to portray them is going to take a lot of care.  "So the new ways in which blackness are portrayed are in some ways progressive and new and great. It's great that we have a story about Harriet Tubman.”  But as we get better at portraying black folks as superhuman, Hughey says, we also need to get better at portraying them as human.



18 Sept 2019.  Print Interview for Burlington Free Press, “Behind the manifesto: What does the Patriot Front actually believe?”

"(The Patriot Front) is, in my estimation, a pretty typical manifestation of the modern white nationalist movement,"  Hughey said. Hughey researches race and ethnicity "as a dynamic and ongoing practice with an emphasis on racism, meaning-making, and asymmetrical relations of power.”  Hughey noted that parts of the manifesto were indicative of a white supremacist ideology, but ultimately felt white nationalism was a better descriptor, primarily due to their belief that the U.S. is a white state. . . . Hughey pointed out themes echoing both nationalistic and supremacist rhetoric throughout the manifesto. . . . . The Patriot Front might be classified as a white nationalist group, but an analysis of its ideologies suggests overlap with other belief systems. Hughey pointed out that race is only mentioned three times in the manifesto, but is alluded to throughout. Ultimately, Hughey argued Patriot Front and similar groups are aware of how they are portrayed, attempting to avoid being marked as supremacists. "As if that's somehow better.”


Syracuse Suspends Fraternities for Racism,”:

"While pledging or 'rushing' a fraternity or sorority is an annual rite, so now are the yearly stories about these organizations less than subtle embrace of racism."