What does it mean for a university to “face race”? To face race at a South African university is to face the relationship between race and educational opportunity; to confront it, to take responsibility for it, to understand its implications for our teaching, research community engagement. Taking as a starting point that race is an historical construction inseparable from the particular South African experience of segregation; and drawing from Audre Lorde’s insight that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the masters house”, facing race means engaging critically with what it means to de-segregate.
The project of facing race at a university is to disrupt and reimagine the received academic rituals that might inadvertently shape (de)segregation even as it seeks to interrogate its unfolding. This is achieved by opening multivocal spaces to enable epistemic plurality.