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Karson Institute opens new physical space

Three people cut a ribbon to celebrate the opening of the new space for the Karson Institute
A WBAL-TV cameraman captures the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the launch of the Karson Institute's first physical space.

The Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice at Loyola University Maryland celebrated the opening of its new physical space on Monday, Oct. 9, at the Loyola/Notre Dame Library. 

The reception and opening event featured a new mural unveiling at the library, a ribbon-cutting, poetry readings, and a meet-and-greet reception. Speakers at the event included Loyola President Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., Maryland Senator Jill P. Carter, Baltimore City Councilman Mark Conway, and Karsonya Wise Whitehead, Ph.D., founding executive director of the Karson Institute and professor of communication and African and African American Studies. 

“Three years ago, we opened as a virtual space,” said Whitehead, recalling the initial launch via a Zoom with Loyola and community leaders in October 2020. "I worked hard along with my colleagues and community partners and donors to move to this level and make this a reality." 

During the welcome event, the Karson Institute also celebrated its third anniversary, and many of the speakers praised Whitehead for her vision and leadership.

“I know that you know the meaning of space and place. I know that you understand the grounding, the rooting, that space and place provides. I know that you know better than most the foundation that that provides,” said Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., Loyola’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, speaking at the event. “Bless you, Dr. Kaye. Bless you for all that you have done, all that you are doing now, all that you will do in the future, because when the next chapter of Loyola University Maryland is written, I know... that you will be part of that story.” 

Founded at Loyola University Maryland, the Karson Institute provides a scholarly space for professors, students, social justice workers, and activists to come together to research, discuss, debate, and explore answers to America’s most urgent questions on inequality, injustice, and racial inequity.