The main difference that most people will notice is that RISE is no longer affiliated with any institution or university because there are so many of us around the country who share the same goal of working toward justice and equity through research, education, and advocacy.
Because RISE has been so connected to the local community, we intend to continue to support and collaborate with the network of community groups, leaders, and individuals we’ve worked with in Mississippi. That’s why we’re excited that some from RISE will still be in Mississippi to continue working with that network, while some will be elsewhere, building new connections, broadening this coalition working for justice and equity, and finding areas where we can all work together when the research questions, struggles, and challenges are similar. In other words, we anticipate bringing new resources to our partner groups in Mississippi and building new partnerships where RISE directors, associates, and fellows are now located.
There were many reasons why RISE shifted to this independent, multi-institutional model. We recognized that RISE could be would be better supported as an autonomous initiative in terms of gaining funding and institutional support. We also recognized the relative transiency of faculty appointments, especially pre-tenure. Additionally, many colleagues outside our home institution had expressed interest in working with us. These factors combined led us to the conclusion that an independent, multi-institutional RISE could make a greater impact than a site-bound, institution-dependent RISE could.
We are so looking forward to building on the work we’ve started over the past few years as we move into this next phase of our work. We’ll be working nationwide, on collaborative research that makes a difference in people’s lived experiences, advocacy that impacts policy, and educational work that moves institutions and communities toward equity. Be sure to check out our multi-institutional team on the “People” link, and ways to get involved under “Get Involved”. Whether you’re a researcher, a student, a campus professional, or a community leader – there is a space for you to be involved in the ongoing work of RISE!