Ruth J. Simmons Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice

friendsred boxThe Ruth J. Simmons Center for the Study of Slavery & Justice (Simmons Center) Friends were co-founded by Tom Bale ’63 and Ann Coles ’63 on the occasion of their 50th reunion. The Simmons Center Friends are an important network of alumni and community members that help to support the Center’s work and help connect its programs and resources to more communities. 

The Simmons Center Friends support the Center’s work in many different ways, including financial and outreach support, connecting the Center with their local alumni affinity or regional group,  and/or by joining the committee which meets monthly.

We are expanding the Simmons Center Friends’s network of supporters and encourage you to join the Friends. Your engagement will help increase the visibility of the Center’s work, and provide funding for it to be sustained as a vibrant force for learning, discussion, and action.

“ Inequalities set in motion by the Atlantic slave trade continue to profoundly shape our world and lives today. The Simmons Center is working with scholars, museums and communities in America and globally to understand not only slavery’s historical weight, but also link it to ongoing social justice issues such as the impact of race upon medical care outcomes, human trafficking risks, inequalities within the criminal justice system, and food security gaps. Cultivating space and support for these challenging conversations has never been more critical than now. ”

Ann Coles '63 (Former Simmons Center Friends Chair) and Sean Siperstein '05 (Simmons Center Friends Chair)

About the Center

Founded in 2012, the Ruth J. Simmons Center for the Study of Slavery & Justice (Simmons Center) at Brown University will celebrate its 10 year anniversary in 2022 as a space on campus where students, scholars, and community members engage in powerful conversations about the history of racial slavery and its impact on race relations, freedom, and social justice today.

Since its inception, 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, racial segregation and its persistent structural legacies, and struggles against contemporary human trafficking. As part of its mission to examine the history and legacies of racial 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 the Smithsonian Institution 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 racial slavery’s legacy directly impacts all of our lives, yet is “hidden in plain sight.”