What a year it’s been. It feels as if the rug has been pulled out from under us, and more than once. Just as we began a return to a more ‘normal’ schedule, the Delta variant began surging across the country, turning our plans on their head. The January Capitol riots brought us face-to-face with political extremism and radical militias in our midst. And the record-breaking heat in the Pacific Northwest, flooding in the American southeast, and massive fires in California, Oregon and elsewhere have left us reeling from the all-too-real effects of climate change and the personal and societal havoc that it is causing.
How fortunate we are to work and live within a community of scholars pushing the boundaries of knowledge to help us understand and prepare for these changes. In this issue, we highlight just a small part of the incredible work going on in our community. In particular, we see the COVID-19 pandemic placed in context of other major viral outbreaks over the last 100 years, and the ways in which our response to pandemics has changed over time. We highlight some of the work going on at the college on racial equity. In particular, we touch on the health, pay, and legal inequities faced by communities of color. In future issues, we will continue to highlight the work of our scholars in this area. We also discuss how race, climate, and politics are affecting the places we live, and the stability of neighborhoods and nations. We examine the ways in which our scholars are reaching beyond national borders, to study and inform policy in places like Jamaica, El Salvador, France and more places across the globe. And we learn about the incredible work of John Jay artists, humanists and political scientists.
While we can only highlight a small number of scholars in this issue, I want to thank all of our faculty and staff for continuing your work despite the headwinds we have faced this year. To say it has been challenging is an understatement, but the fact that you have forged on is an incredible testament to your commitment to the work. Let me also thank those who have made the production of this issue possible, I appreciate all of the work that went in to identifying, writing, and producing the stories and pieces in this issue. I hope you all find the stories as fascinating as I have. I wish you all an excellent academic year, and look forward to seeing you back on campus soon.