Recognizing that racial slavery was central to the historical formation of the Americas and the modern world, the Simmons Center creates a space for the interdisciplinary study of the historical forms of slavery while also examining how these legacies continue to shape our contemporary world.
Since its inception in 2012, the Center has organized hundreds of public programs to examine issues of social justice and racial equality, including the impact of anti-black racism on our nation’s educational systems, and racial segregation and its persistent structural legacies. As well we have paid attention to issues around contemporary human trafficking. As part of its mission to examine the history and legacies of slavery in ways that engage a broad public, the Simmons Center has built a global network of scholars, museums, and universities. The Center has initiated joint projects with universities and museums around the world and fostered relationships with high school educators across the nation. Through its research, exhibitions, convenings, and curriculum, the Center has become a leading institution for understanding how slavery’s legacy directly impacts all of our lives, yet is “hidden in plain sight.”