Mourning the Creation of Racial Categories

$69,403 Raised               110 Gifts

MCRC at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival

May 14, 2021

Northern Kentucky University’s Mourning the Creation of Racial Categories (MCRC) Project will present two NEW films at the 2021 Cincinnati Fringe Festival, the largest arts festival in Ohio! 

The films are part of the primary lineup and are available on-demand from June 4 to 19. Visit for ticketing information.

About the films:

Why White?

This film opens with a patient, who appears white, struggling to declare “White” as his race on a medical form. He asks, “why do my doctors need to know my race?”  and “why am I called “White” anyway?” which begins an exploration of how the labels “White” and “Black” came to be and opens the conversation of how White carries the weight of race.

I am White Like You, Right Mom?

In this film, a white-appearing mother must explain to her black-appearing daughter that “you’re not white exactly.” The conversation expands and reveals the story of why, in the U.S., parent and child can be labeled as different races and how race invades the family space.

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Join us for Let Our Loss Be Heard: The Margaret Garner Family Story

January 25, 2021

January 28th is the 165th anniversary of the Garner escape. Register for Let Our Loss Be Heard: The Margaret Garner Family Story at

Call for Participation

December 15, 2020

Apply by December 26, 2020 to be part of a two-day collaborative workshop:

The Emotional Force of Race: An Exhibition and Call for Creative Response

December 15, 2020

Curated in true collaboration by Joan Ferrante (Sociology) and India Sada Hackle (English-creative writing)


Experience the virtual exhibit at:


Northern Kentucky University invites community members to virtually explore the themes and emotional force behind social unrest with its exhibition, “The Emotional Force of Race: An Exhibition and Call for Creative Response,” featuring the Mourning the Creation of Racial Categories project.


Led by Sociology Professor Dr. Joan Ferrante and by poet India Hackle, a May 2020 graduate, the project uses arts' transformative power to challenge assumptions about who we are and seeks to contribute to the national conversation around social unrest and racial disparities.


The ongoing project began as a five-part documentary series. However, with NKU’s blended learning format in the fall semester, the project found a new way to expand and showcase the campus community’s work. Dr. Ferrante, Hackle and NKU’s School of the Arts (SOTA) worked with over 125 student and faculty artists across campus to create an exhibition of collaborative pieces of art that help to understand the sources of implicit bias, spark conversations and enable positive change.


”For many, race is something that just is and has always been. This is a new approach to an important conversation that needs to be had in our communities,” said Dr. Ferrante. “Until we understand why and how racial categories matter and its impact, we cannot address the weight they put on our relationships and communities.”

In addition to NKU’s SOTA and College of Arts and Sciences, the project receives local and national support to produce the films.


“We are at a pivotal point in our history. We must continue working together to address the systemic racism that disproportionally impacts the livelihoods of communities of color. The exhibition is an invaluable opportunity to deepen your understanding and expand your world view with of race,” said President Ashish Vaidya.

MCRC at the Aronoff

May 25, 2019

The Area Choreographers Festival supports local artists and provides audiences a diverse variety of incredible dance, all of it new to Cincinnati!  We are excited that MCRC has the opportunity to dance the story of Margaret Garner and her family at this incredible event hosted at the Aronoff Center.  To purchase tickets, visit  Hope to see you there!

We're on KET!

January 31, 2019

Thank you again for your generous support of the Mourning the Creation of Racial Categories project!  We thank you for investing in the creative and research efforts of NKU students and faculty, and for participating in the retelling of a history that means so much to millions of Americans. 


We are over halfway to our goal of public support to produce the 3rd part of the documentary series and we have some exciting news to share…


KET has asked to air Part 1 of Dr. Ferrante’s MCRC Project series, “The Categories Black and White” in February and March!  Check out the promotional trailer and show times here and be sure to share with your friends so they may experience this important work. 


Thank you again for your support.  To stay updated on the MCRC Project, please visit and

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