Following the August 2014 uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri and the campus activism and dialogue that followed, in February 2015 then-Chancellor Mark Wrighton and then-Provost Holden Thorp convened a Commission on Diversity and Inclusion to create a university-wide plan for diversity.

Chancellor Andrew D. Martin and Adrienne Davis, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity; Vice Provost; William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law; African and African-American Studies (Affiliate); History (Affiliate); Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Affiliate); Co-Director Law, Identity & Culture Initiative

After two years of work, the Commission issued a comprehensive report. One of the chief recommendations of the Washington University Commission on Diversity & Inclusion Report, CRE2 is a university-wide research center for the study of race and ethnicity. The Commission recommended the university create this center to generate research momentum and accelerate the university’s capacity to study race and ethnicity and shape discourse on these crucial issues globally, nationally, and locally. Chancellor Martin announced the founding of the Center in February, 2019 and the Center was launched in August 2020.