The mission of the Michael A. Middleton Center is to promote excellence in the multi-disciplinary study of race, citizenship, and justice; gather and analyze historical and contemporary knowledge; and foster dialogue and engagement across a variety of internal and external stakeholders. The Center supports scholars that engage in theoretical and applied research aimed at making a meaningful impact on communities affected by disparities in education, health and economic opportunities and to celebrate the human dignity of people in those communities. The Center brings together a community of scholars to provide commentary on a variety of perspectives and ideas related to the three research pillars: race, citizenship, and justice. This intentional level of engagement reflects a rich spectrum of discourses and provides space to evolve as a university, as a community and as a society. The Center’s responsibility is to ensure that the engagement around the three research pillars is conducted in the spirit of the university’s values, and also contributes directly to at least three of the strategic goals for the University of Missouri: Research and Creative Works; Engagement and Outreach; and Inclusive Excellence.
The University of Missouri is uniquely positioned to support the Middleton Center. Located in the heart of Missouri and in the center of the nation, the University of Missouri attracts diverse students from rural, urban and international backgrounds with different lived experiences as well as perspectives. The Mizzou community of students, faculty, staff, alumni and other constituents span a diversity of viewpoints and identities (politics, race, socioeconomic status, religion, gender, etc.). Furthermore, Mizzou is both a land-grant institution with a statewide mission of service to citizens and Missouri’s largest public research university. Now is the time – and Mizzou is the place – to cultivate a healthy and creative venue for thoughtful and thought-provoking dialogue among diverse groups of people and to create innovative programs that will make a lasting impact. The Middleton Center will work toward this goal as it is uniquely poised to meaningfully contribute to the dialogue of these three complex and nuanced research areas.