Race Beyond Borders


Read about us in Global Atlanta

Who we are, why we care, and what we want

We are a coalition of Greater Atlanta area higher education institutions, non-profits, and Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International Affairs. We aim to create a collaborative, diverse, multi-institutional, and multi-disciplinary space for a global conversation on race and a public-facing scholar/activist network. We explore how the legacy of the Atlanta civil rights movement translates into the present for positive change in race relations around the world. We investigate how global movements inform and influence the local conversation. We connect global scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers to turn conversation into action that advances racial justice and equity in Atlanta and beyond. Our aim is the insight from these conversations will lead to concrete plans and actions to combat racism.

Participating organizations:RBB-Logo

Atlanta Global Studies Center (AGSC)

Georgia State University's Center for Studies on Africa and Its Diaspora

Georgia State University's Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies

Spelman College's Gordon-Zeto Center for Global Education

Spelman College's African Diaspora and the World (ADW) Program

Emory University's Office of Global Strategy and Initiatives 

Emory University's James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference

Kennesaw State University's Center for African and African Diaspora Studies

Agnes Scott College

Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (IDEI) at Georgia Tech

Global Atlanta 

City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International Affairs

* If you are interested in joining this collaborative, please contact Dr. Sebnem Ozkan, AGSC Associate Director, at sebnem.ozkan@gatech.edu.


Explore where Atlanta intersects with the global conversation on race for concrete action. 

  • Legacy: How does Atlanta’s legacy as a hub for civil rights fuel its relevance in the global conversation on race relations? We say we are a city of peace and civil rights, the city too busy to hate. Is this a shared image for Atlantans and around the world? What are we carrying forward from the city’s legacy? How do international communities fit into this image/vision?

  • Inquiry and Solutions: How can Atlanta’s history and experience contribute to global solutions around racial equity and justice, and how do global movements inform and influence the local conversation? What lessons that are universal can be applied locally? How do they influence each other?

  • A public-facing scholar/activist network that will enable us to:

    • Learn from each other and promote/disseminate ideas for teaching/learning and research with an emphasis on activism, actionable projects/programs, and training/empowering student leaders;

    • Articulate what race, racism, and social justice look like in different spheres of life as well as locally and globally and bring this to the public; 

    • Simultaneously assert and explore who we are as we engage in a dynamic, ongoing conversations of history, strategies, and action – we will leave the audience with a charge, something to think about, act on.

    • Cross multiple divides: Expand our reach beyond borders of Atlanta, U.S, our disciplines, and institutions as well as academia/public/activism


We hold a series of conversations on race through panel discussions, lectures, webinars, interviews, film, art exhibits, and explore the following multiple themes among others: Arts and culture; Climate Change; Criminal justice; Education; Economics, business, industry; Gender; Health and well-being; Housing; Identity; Infrastructure; Leadership; Politics; Power and Access; Religion; Science/Artificial Intelligence

We discuss how equity/diversity/inclusion are transpiring in different ways, spheres and sectors. Our aim is the insight from these conversations will lead to concrete plans and actions combatting racism.

Upcoming Events

Stay tuned for upcoming events in Fall 2021!

Past Events 

Roundtable Discussion: "Student Views on Inclusion in the Global Workplace"
April16, 12-1 PM


Click to download the flyer.

With Atlanta’s growth as a global business hub, corporate initiatives on diversity, equity and social justice are intersecting in new ways with their mandate to cultivate a culturally competent workforce.

A new sense of urgency seems to have gripped the business community with the racial reckoning after George Floyd’s death and the inequities spotlighted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

As one of the most concentrated higher education hubs in the U.S., Atlanta is graduating thousands of increasingly diverse future workers who demand bold action on these crucial issues. And with a worker shortage already taking hold in some sectors, how well companies can meet students’ demands for meaningful social action in their workplace will become a competitiveness issue.

Are companies ready for this new recruitment reality? Are students empowered to make their voices heard? Or does a diversity divide persist?

Join us for a lively, honest conversation with Atlanta-area students, educators, and advocates. 


  • Fana Ruth HaileSelassie, President, Student Government Association; International Studies major & graduating senior, Spelman College
  • Amy Henry, Executive Director of International Education, Georgia Tech
  • Nneka Jones, Political Science & Business Management major and junior; Posse Foundation Scholar; Student Associate Member of the Board of Trustees; and the Public Relations Chair of IGNITE chapter, Agnes Scott College
  • Mark Lannaman, Broadcast Journalism major & graduating senior, Georgia State University (GSU); Fellow, “Every Learner Everywhere”; Associate Producer for “Crucial Conversations”; “African American Male Initiative” at GSU
  • Peter Roberts, Professor of Organization & Management; Academic Director of Specialty Coffee Programs at the Roberto C. Goizueta Business & Society Institute, Emory University
  • Taos Wynn, Social Advocate, Author, Speaker
  • Moderator: Trevor Williams, Managing Editor, Global Atlanta
RBB_April 16

decolonizing global healthTuesday, April 20 | 10:30-12:00pm

Decolonizing Global Health Series Event with Emory Global Health Institute and Race Beyond Borders


This event is presented as part of the Annual Atlanta Global Studies Symposium, April 20-23, 2021. 

  • Osama Tanous, MD, MPH, 2020 Fulbright Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow
  • Eugene Richardson, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Co-chair, Lancet Commission on Reparations and Redistributive Justice
  • Kelly Callahan, MPH, Director, Trachoma Control Program, The Carter Center
  • Moderator: Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson, Director of Operations and Outreach, Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora, Georgia State University

    Breakout rooms facilitated by Emory and GSU faculty and graduate students.

Friday, April 23rd | 3:30-5:00pmSheliaWalker

Race Beyond Borders Keynote Address by Shelia S. Walker

EVENT RECORD - coming soon!

This event is presented as part of the Annual Atlanta Global Studies Symposium, April 20-23, 2021.

Sheila S. Walker, PhD, cultural anthropologist and documentary filmmaker, has done fieldwork, lectured, and participated in intellectual and cultural events in most of Africa and the Global African Diaspora. Her goal is now to educate the public about the Global African Diaspora. Her most recent documentary, Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places: A Global African Diaspora, was shown at the United Nations as the 2018 Black History Month program for the UN International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024, and was sent for showings at UN Information Centers in the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe.

Feb 5, 12-1:30 pm

Feb 5 Event Flyer
Click image to download the event flyer

Understanding Race as a Global Concept: Power, Access, and Policy    


Free virtual launch event open to public

What is race? How can we start developing a shared understanding of race as a global concept? What are the theoretical and experiential definitions of race? How are concepts of race constructed in different parts of the world and how does race affect various power structures and interact with other identities? 

This event will launch the multi-institutional Race Beyond Borders initiative and offer a first step in bringing multiple stakeholders and diverse voices together to begin a dialogue and process of inquiry. We will work on establishing terminology and language. It will lead to a shared understanding and direction for fostering equity and justice in all aspects of life, in Atlanta and beyond.


  • Welcoming Remarks by Anna Stenport, Professor of Global Studies; Chair, School of Modern Languages; Founding Co-Director, Atlanta Global Studies Center, Georgia Tech 

  • Speakers:

    • Moderator: Jennie Ward-Robinson, Co-Director of Operations and Outreach, Center for Studies of Africa and Its Diaspora (CSAD), Georgia State University

    • Julius Coles, Honorary Consul of Senegal

    • Dorian Brown Crosby, Assistant Professor of Political Science; Faculty-Mentor and Board Member of Spelman College's Social Justice Program

    • Sheryl Heron, Professor and Vice-Chair of Faculty Equity, Engagement and Empowerment in the Department of Emergency Medicine, Associate Dean for Community Engagement, Equity and Inclusion and Associate Director of Education and Training for the Injury Prevention Research Center at Emory (IPRCE) at Emory University School of Medicine

    • Pushpa Parekh, Professor of English; Chair, African Diaspora and the World (ADW) Program, Spelman College

    • Elizabeth West, Professor of English and Africana Literatures and Cultures; Co-Director of Academics, Center for Studies of Africa and Its Diaspora (CSAD), Georgia State University; Former Executive Director, South Atlantic Modern Languages Association (SAMLA)

Speaker BiosSuggested readings by speakers [PDF]  | Event Recording

Stay tuned for further details on the following planned events -- all are working titles / dates TBD:

  • How Does Race as a Global Concept (with its Global Implications) Play into Dynamics of Atlanta as a Constantly Evolving City?

  • Race as a Global Concept in the Classroom (From K12 to College)

  • From Civil Rights to Human Rights, Addressing Racism from a rights based approach

  • Combating Racism through the Arts

  • The intersection of Health and Racial Inequity


Suggested readings on "Race as a Global Concept" [PDF]


Dr. Sebnem Ozkan, Associate Director of the Atlanta Global Studies Center (AGSC) | sebnem.ozkan@gatech.edu