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CSU’s 2nd Annual Project 400 Conference Addresses the Twin Pandemics: COVID-19 and Racial Injustice

Virtual February 26 & 27 conference features Rolling Stone’s Jamil Smith and former 
Ohio State Senator Nina Turner​​​​​​​

CLEVELAND (February 22, 2021) – Cleveland State University’s Division of Diversity, Inclusion and University Engagement’s 2nd Annual Project 400 conference, titled Confronting the Twin Pandemics: COVID-19 and Racial Injustice takes place virtually on Friday, February 26 and Saturday, February 27. 

The two-day, virtual conference will examine how the Covid-19 pandemic has magnified disparities in many aspects of our lives, including health care, education and technology. It will also focus on the racial injustice and inequities still prevalent in the United States and take a closer look at the criminal justice system and other social justice issues. The conference’s presenting sponsor is the George Gund Foundation, with Cleveland Public Theatre and Cuyahoga Community College serving as gold and silver sponsors, respectively.

The conference broadcast from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Friday’s sessions will focus on the disparities magnified by the pandemic. Jamil Smith, senior writer at Rolling Stone and Shaker Heights native, known for his political and cultural commentary, will be the day’s keynote speaker. Saturday’s sessions will focus on the racial injustices still prevalent in the United States. Former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner will be Saturday’s keynote speaker. 

In addition to the two keynote addresses, each day will feature interactive focus sessions covering health care, education and the digital divide, criminal justice and social justice, led by experts. 

Project 400 began in 2019 as a year-long observation of the arrival of the first Africans brought to the British Colonies in North America in 1619. The purpose of the conference is to examine the significance of slavery as foundational to the historic and contemporary challenges faced by African Americans, highlighting the obstacles that have been overcome while identifying those that still remain. 

The cost of the conference is $20 for general admission and $5 for students through February 23. Beginning February 24, general admission is $30 and $10 for students.

For details and to register to attend, visit


About Cleveland State University
Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for Engaged Learning. With nearly 16,000 students, ten colleges and schools and more than 175 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2021 as one of America’s best universities by U.S. News & World Report. Find more information at