Race and Ethnicity | Wilson Center

Race and Ethnicity

What to Do With Diversity in a Society

One very dark December morning in the early 1990s I found myself shuffling my boot-clad feet, trying to keep warm as I waited on an ice-covered rail platform 150-odd miles northeast of Moscow. As a Russian colleague and I began to conclude the train would never arrive, he quietly explained that we were standing atop hundreds of bodies. The prison trains leaving Moscow during the 1930s arrived in these very same switching yards and, as they were divided up to head to different labor camps, those who hadn’t survived were simply tossed into a pit by the tracks.

Purifying the Land of the Pure: A History of Pakistan’s Religious Minorities

When Pakistan emerged as an independent state in 1947, it sought to provide a new homeland and safe harbor for South Asia's Muslims, the largest religious minority in the subcontinent at the time. Yet this project was not exclusive. Taking its name from Pakstan, an acronym composed of the key letters of its constituent regions-Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh, and Baluchistan-Pakistan at first welcomed all of its new citizens, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. Non-Muslims comprised 23 percent of the total population, and non-Sunnis comprised a quarter of the Muslim population.

Performing Community 2: Short Essays on Community, Diversity, Inclusion, and the Performing Arts

In 2012, the Urban Sustainability Laboratory began posting short essays by Director Blair A. Ruble about the themes of community, governance, and transparency in cities. By 2015, a sufficient number had appeared to be gathered in Performing Community: Short Essays on Community, Diversity, Inclusion, and the Performing Arts. This first collection included twenty-one essays focusing on the role of the performing arts in community building around the world.

8 Misguided Arguments on Refugees and Terrorism

Refugee resettlement in the United States is as politicized as it has been in generations. That is a shame, because our current dumbed-down debate distracts us from reforms that could attract consensus support, decreasing security risks while ensuring the program’s viability.

Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital

In January 1950, Mary Church Terrell, an 86-year-old charter member of the NAACP, was refused service at a cafeteria a few blocks from the White House. Three years later, on June 8, 1953, she won a unanimous decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co., Inc., that invalidated segregated Washington restaurants and paved the way to the landmark school desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education a year later. Ms.

Jimmy Carter in Africa: Race and the Cold War

In the mid-1970s, the Cold War had frozen into a nuclear stalemate in Europe and retreated from the headlines in Asia. As Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter fought for the presidency in late 1976, the superpower struggle overseas seemed to take a backseat to more contentious domestic issues of race relations and rising unemployment. There was one continent, however, where the Cold War was on the point of flaring hot: Africa.

Feasts for Eyes Too Blind to See: Destroying Communities in the Name of Ideology

The end – as Nomvuyo Ngcelwane would recall decades later in her memoirs Sala Kahle District Six: An African Woman’s Perspective – proved to be unremarkable. One early October day in 1963, an ungainly truck rumbled up to 22 Cross Street in Cape Town’s District Six, in the heart of one of the most diverse neighborhoods on the African continent.

Across the Lines of Conflict: Facilitating Cooperation to Build Peace

This volume presents peacebuilding initiatives that engage local leaders from opposing sides in intensive interactive workshops, comparing six cases from small, ethnically divided countries—Burundi, Cyprus, Estonia, Guyana, Sri Lanka, and Tajikistan. All six initiatives were guided by outside third parties who worked to enhance interpersonal cohesion and ability to collaborate among local leaders and other actors.

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