14:35 PM

Center for Critical Race Studies Hosts Lecture Oct. 5

Fall Symposium on Race, Politics, and Culture


By Sheryl E. Taylor

The Center for Critical Races Studies (CCRS) is hosting its annual Fall Symposium on Race, Politics, and Culture 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the Milam and Travis Conference Room in One Main Building.  

The lecture features scholar Dr. Stacey Floyd-Thomas giving the keynote talk, “This Is My Body, Broken for You: The Syndemic and Our Body Politic.”  The talk will draw on her recently released edited volume, “Religion, Race, and COVID-19: Confronting White Supremacy in the Pandemic” (New York University Press, 2022). stacey-floyd-thomas

According to UHD’s Dr. Jonathan Chism, “Syndemic is simply the combination of two or more concurrent epidemics—COVID-19 and white supremacy. Floyd-Thomas and other contributors to the volume discuss how COVID exposed persisting social inequalities in the U.S.,” he said. “She explains how the pandemic was not merely a contagion that affected physical bodies, but that it was also an economic, social, and religious phenomenon. Her book argues that there is a religious hierarchy in U.S. society that puts ‘the least of these’ last while prioritizing those who benefit most from white privilege. Inasmuch as Floyd-Thomas exposes the problem, she also discusses diverse ways persons from marginalized communities have drawn on their faith to resist and challenge white supremacy.”

Floyd-Thomas’ work focuses on intersections of critical race theory, feminist/womanist studies, and Black church studies. She is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and College of Arts & Sciences. She as is also Executive Director of both the Society of Christian Ethics and the nationally recognized Black Religious Scholars Group and serves as co-founder of the Society for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted all of our lives since 2020,” said Chism, Assistant Professor of History, Humanities & Languages. “Dr. Floyd-Thomas’ lecture will provide our UHD community a timely opportunity to reflect deeply on how COVID-19 has exposed the brokenness in America, especially ‘the twin viruses of blind faith and colorblindness.’ In line with the mission of the Center for Critical Race Studies, her talk will stimulate the type of critical thinking and consciousness formation among our campus community that will aid us in being agents of social transformation.”

Learn more about the Center for Critical Race Studies.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.