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Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (in)Equality

Irise retreat

Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (In)Equality (IRISE)




Beginning in the Fall Quarter of the 2017-2018 Academic Year, IRISE engaged with faculty, department chairs, on-campus institutes and centers, and off-campus partners toward identifying how its resources would be directed. In the Fall of 2017, IRISE conducted a series of focus groups with DU faculty and staff whose research and expertise connected with IRISE's initiatives. A guiding question for each focus group was "how could IRISE best direct its resources and priorities to meet its mission and align its work with that of DU Impact 2025. What emerged from these conversations was a recognition that DU, based on the expertise of its faculty and the missions of many of its centers and programs, could play a leading role in responding to issues of racial inequity, documented most prominently by the Rocky Mountain Public Broadcast Station (RMPBS) in its award winning Losing Ground report

Irise 2.0

IRISE 2.0 accordingly is an effort to respond directly to many of the issues identified in the Rocky Mountain PBS Losing Ground Report. Our new initiative seeks to make IRISE a community-centered fulcrum that amplifies campus expertise, marshals interdisciplinary campus resources, and creates meaningful pathways for DU to partner with non-DU leaders and organizations to challenge systems and structures that lead to racial and social inequities. IRISE 2.0 therefore seeks to equip our campus to partner with community agencies and historically marginalized groups and individuals in the collaborative production and application of knowledge leading to greater community inclusion.

"To achieve these goals, IRISE works with faculty, students, and community collaborators around the following four dynamic and interconnected areas of impact:  (1) Research, scholarship and creative works (2) Community leadership and development; (3) The application of research, scholarship and creative works to policy and legislative outcomes; and (4) supporting and partnering with academic programs at DU that provides a critical examination of race and ethnicity as categories of social, political, historical, and cultural analysis in the United States. Overall, IRISE 2.0 has the potential to expand the university's ability to work at the racial and political borderlands between and within historically marginalized communities to effectuate meaningful social inclusion