Our Team

The Institute on Race Power and Political Economy was founded in 2021 to understand and advance economic inclusion, civic engagement, and equity. The Institute provides the intellectual and physical space to cultivate innovative policies, strategies, and investments that break down restrictive hierarchies, empower people, and move society toward greater social equity by fusing insights from multiple disciplines to improve our understanding of the causes, consequences, and remedies associated with racial, ethnic, gender, and other forms of stratification in a host of domains including education, employment, criminal justice, health, housing, environment, asset accumulation, and other vital sectors across regional, national, and international landscapes.

Remembering Michelle Materre (1954–2022)

It is with great sorrow that we say goodbye to legendary racial justice and feminist filmmaker Michelle Materre, who died at only age 67 on March 11, 2022 following a battle with cancer. She was our inaugural Director of Creative Strategies at The New School's Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy and a beloved longtime member of the New School community.

Michelle was a highly regarded member of the faculty of media and film studies at The New School since 2001 and the founder or co-founder of important media inclusion initiatives for Black and other underrepresented people, including Creatively Speaking, a robust platform for film producers, and KJM3 Entertainment Group, one of the nation's first Black-focused film production companies.

During her short but productive service at the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy, Michelle helped form our early and successful media strategy and academic programs linking film, art, and culture to larger issues of race and political economy.

In her memory, a committee of Institute principals and staff is planning to introduce a Michelle Materre Senior Fellowship program and an allied Lecture Series.

Michelle's own groundbreaking work has been acknowledged widely across the United States and the world in obituaries published in the New York Times, Philadelphia Tribune, and Amsterdam News, as well as the New School Free Press.

Michelle was an active board member and supporter of important organizations of progressive women filmmakers, including New York Women in Film and Television and Women Make Movies.

Above all, Michelle Materre was a remarkable and caring human being, a role model and champion to all of her colleagues and students, and a voice of reason and calm in an otherwise loud and troubled world. She is irreplaceable and will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege to know her.