To provide an opportunity for all students to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between social structure and the experience of racial and ethnic difference.
To examine the problems of racial and ethnic inequality as a means of promoting the pursuit of social justice and equity.
To investigate the intricate relationships among race, class, gender and culture historically, and in contemporary society.
To facilitate the incorporation of scholarship on underrepresented racial and ethnic groups into the university curricula.
To equip students with historical frameworks and theoretical tools that will enable them to engage more productively in their respective areas of study, and to better prepare them for their leadership roles in a democratic society.
To foster ties among all students of various racial and ethnic backgrounds on campus and in the larger communities.