International Studies & Programs

Home > Engage > Perspectives Occasional Paper Series

Call for Thought Pieces

AAP Perspectives.png

Call for Thought Pieces

Race and Ethnicity in Africa and the Diaspora

Perspectives is issuing a call for thought pieces from anywhere in the world that are short, critical reflections of issues around race and ethnicity in higher education institutions as well as other key stakeholder organizations in Africa and the African Diaspora.

Background: Racism and other longstanding inequities came to the forefront in the US in summer 2020 and prompted a global outcry against racial injustice. People from across racial and other divides rose up in protest in every US state and in countries in Africa and the global African Diaspora in solidarity with the US, but also against injustices in their own countries. Even though there has been progress and symbols of racial reconciliation in some countries, until there is recognition that systemic racism exists, and is still deeply embedded in the very structures and fabric of many social, political, economic, educational, judicial, and religious institutions, reconciliation will still remain an idea. While not new, the call for racial justice has taken on a new urgency and is having an impact on institutions and sectors of all types— including higher education, as they are tasked with empowering critical thinking in students, many of whom were part of the 2020 protests in the US. This is an important opportunity for higher education to demonstrate leadership and come together for sustained discussion of how it is—or ought to be—responding to this moment of racial reckoning.

This collection of thought pieces will address the ways in which higher education institutions may unknowingly perpetuate structural racism, the current global race relations and its role in increasing racist actions, and examine what should be done to create meaningful change. The specific issues that affect Diaspora populations, as well as the legacies of apartheid and colorism and how they play out in the context of university policy priorities will be included. Finally, we will also look at how faculty and students at universities are being prepared to address race and ethnicity issues in and outside the classroom and the ways in which we must meaningfully ensure student voices and advocacy are part of the solution to institutional change. 

Objective and Aim: to share the perspectives, challenges and opportunities for transforming the race and ethnicity experiences at higher education institutions and key stakeholder organizations in the public and private sector in Africa and the African Diaspora at this time of racial reckoning.

Important dates:

  • Deadline for Thought Piece summary (up to 500 words) -- Nov. 14, 2021. Summaries must include title, text, author’s name and affiliation
  • Decisions will then be made within 2 to 3 weeks
  • If summaries are accepted; deadline for full Thought Pieces for peer review (no more than 10-pages, double-spaced) -- Feb. 15, 2022
  • Anticipated launch of issue of Perspectives -- Fall 2022

Submissions: All documents, including summaries, must be submitted online in English and follow the author guidelines, which are available on the Perspectives website --

  • First-time authors will need to register on the site first, and then log in to continue submission of their proposals.

Publication and distribution: Perspectives is published by the MSU Press and distributed using a creative commons licensing and will be freely available to the public by download on the website. Print-on-demand copies of the publication will be available for purchase online by the general public; discounted rates are available for selected individuals and institutions by contacting the Perspectives team via email at aappublications(at)

For further information, please contact:

Perspectives Editors

  • Jose Jackson-Malete: AAP Co-Director, MSU Office (jacks184(at)
  • Amy Jamison, AAP Co-Director, MSU Office (jamisona(at)

Perspectives Guest Editors for Issue on Race and Ethnicity

  • Vaughn W. M. Watson, Associate Professor, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University
  • Cassandra Veney, Executive Director, Humanities in Leadership Learning Series, Case Western Reserve University
  • Monique Kelly, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Michigan State University
  • Aaron Kamugisha, Professor of Africana Studies, Smith College
  • Upenyu Majee, Manager, Ubuntu Dialogues Project, African Studies Center, MSU

Perspectives Staff:

Journals Manager, MSU Press