The Center for Race Relations was founded to respond to racial tensions on university grounds and the lack of an appropriate vehicle for meaningful social change.

Inspired by Professor Tony Brown’s Public Policy 144S class, the Center for Race Relations began with founders Kesav Mohan (’04), Phillip Kurian (’05), Hamilton Boggs (’05) and Amy Lazarus (’05), a 40-page business plan, and a dream for Duke. PPS 144S, entitled “Enterprising Leadership,” sought to create new, sustainable projects on campus that match students’ passion with community needs.

After two semesters of experimentation, the Center for Race Relations merged with Common Ground (another PPS 144S project) and Students To Unite Duke (STUD) to form the unified Center as it stands today. The creators of the CRR are now standing at the forefront of a movement towards cross-racial understanding on Duke’s campus.

Some years later, the Center for Race Relations has, indeed, evolved but is still committed to serving the undergraduate students at Duke by providing safe spaces in which to engage in dialogue about issues of marginalization on campus.