Our understanding of the integral mission of the Institute is distinctive in several key aspects. First, we attempt to integrate worlds of academic and grassroots knowledge. We believe that universities and social sciences are, for the most part, isolated from new practices and new movements, as they keep insisting on concepts and theories that are not adequate to new realities of creation and resistance. On the other side of this gap, activists are in serious need of new theories: theoretical knowledge (s) that can assist them in reflecting analytically on their practices, methods, and strategies for social change. At a moment when education is more then ever in danger of becoming enclosed and commodified, we have an urgent responsibility to defend universities as autonomous and critical places of knowledge production.