Established in 2015, the Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Initiative (RIGS) was created to support innovative research, teaching, and community-building for scholars engaged with issues of race, indigeneity, gender, and sexuality. RIGS is dedicated to bringing faculty and students together to pursue lines of inquiry that challenge systems of power and inequality, assert human dignity, and imagine social transformation.
RIGS is an inclusive, lively collective that supports transformational, intersectional scholarship in multiple ways. First, it provides space and resources for affiliated faculty and graduate students to engage in and share their work by providing small grants to support research groups, programming funds, and staff support for grant writing and event planning.
The initiative also supports the Critical Race & Ethnic Studies Graduate Student Interest Group to foster intellectual relationships between graduate students from a wide variety of disciplines and increase graduate student access to the expertise of faculty affiliated with RIGS. Finally, RIGS facilitates translation of faculty research to invigorate and elevate public discourse about social identities, power, and inequality. Through workshops, training, and creating media, RIGS develops faculty capacity to engage effectively in public conversations with stakeholders and media outside the university.
The initiative is composed of the six founding departments, the RIGS director and research assistant, four research circles, and affiliated faculty and graduate students from a variety of units.
The founding departments include: