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New USD Podcast Series to Explore Systemic Racism, Social Justice and Criminal Justice Reform

Voices Amplified Exploring the History of Social Justice with Dr. Laura Renee Chandler, Center for Diversity and Community Director Podcast Logo In this episode of Voices Amplified, Laura Renée Chandler, Ph.D., discusses topics ranging from protests to institutional bias to the history of the Black Lives Matter movement.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota’s podcast, Credit Hour, introduced a new series titled “Voices Amplified,” focused on conversations exploring race, social justice and criminal justice reform.

In the first episode, “Exploring the History of Social Justice,” Laura Renée Chandler, Ph.D., director of the Center for Diversity and Community, discussed topics ranging from protests to institutional bias to the history of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I think some people come to the conclusion that systemic racism means that racism just exists everywhere, and it’s a little bit more than that. It’s about racial biases that exist within our institutions and organizations,” said Chandler. “It’s built into the laws, and policies and practices of our institutions. And often these laws and policies are racially neutral–so we make look at it, we may read the policy, we may be aware of it–but we don’t take into account how it is disproportionally impacting minority communities.”

“Students really need to see themselves reflected in the environment around them. I think that’s true both on campus and off campus. It’s key to their success,” said Chandler, discussing the role of the Center for Diversity and Community.

“This series will welcome the many individuals throughout the USD community that have unique insight, expertise and experience with some of the most important issues impacting our communities,” said Michael Ewald, host of Credit Hour. “We hope these conversations provide a platform to different perspectives and help challenge us to identify ways we can create a more inclusive world.”

Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News