Race in America

Restructuring Inequality | June 3-6, 2010

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Race Conference Program

Saturday, June 5 Morning Sessions

Is Justice Blind? Raising Awareness of Racial Bias in Policing

This session will document bias in policing, racial profiling, the use of deadly force, and prisoner re-entry. It will offer strategies for increasing police awareness of racial bias, reducing its actual instances of its occurrence, and promoting ex-inmate community integration.


  • David Harris, Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh
  • Steven Raphael, Professor of Public Policy, Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy University of California, Berkeley

Causes, Consequences, and Cures: Ending the Spiral of Poverty

Currently one in three minority children and one-quarter of minority adults live in poverty. This session will address recent thinking on the causes and consequences of poverty and the most efficacious ways to alleviate it.


  • Mark Rank, Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare, Washington University
  • Sheldon Danziger, Henry J. Meyer Distinguished University Professor of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Basic Training: Confronting the Achievement Gap in Schools

There are large differences in reading, math and other basic skills between Whites, African Americans, and Hispanic students. This session will examine current thinking about the causes of these gaps and the best strategies for reducing them.


  • Ron Ferguson, Senior Lecturer in Education and Public Policy, Harvard University
  • Gary Orfield, Professor, Graduate School of Education; Director of Civil Rights Project, University of California, Los Angeles

Growing Old: The Unique Challenges Faced by Elderly Minorities

Major differences exist in life outcomes for aged Americans. Minorities have a lower quality and shorter life expectancy. This session will address actions that can be taken to alter the realities that minority elderly face


  • James Jackson, Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan
  • Kokos Markides, Professor and Director, Division of Sociomedical Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch

Mental Health: Discussing the Particular Problems Minorities Face

African and Asian Americans are often outsiders in a White culture, and this fact commonly produces stress as well as other mental health related problems. This session will review the frequency and types of mental health problems that commonly experienced by people of color. It will also consider efficacious interventions to address these problems.


  • King Davis, Professor and the Robert Lee Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy, University of Texas
  • DJ Ida, Executive Director, National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA)

Saturday, June 5 Afternoon Sessions

Refocus and Reform: Changing Direction in Urban Schools

Little progress has been made in improving the quality of education for minority students in urban schools. This session will consider major efforts to transform urban education for minority students.


  • John Wallace, Philip Hallen Professor of Health and Social Justice, School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh
  • Marta Tienda, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University

In the System: The Disproportionality of Race in Child Welfare

Children of color enter America’s child welfare system at high rates and stay in the system for long periods of time. The goal of this session is to both understand and reduce the over-representation of minority youth in the child welfare system.


  • William Bell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Casey Family Programs
  • Terri Cross, Executive Director, National Indian Child Welfare Association

The Bigger Issue: Childhood Obesity in Minority Communities

More than one-third of minorities are obese. This session will identify specific causes and implications of obesity among this population as well as discuss actions to prevent and reduce the problems of overweight and obesity.


  • Monica Baskin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior, University of Alabama-Birmingham
  • Goutham Rao, Associate Professor, Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh

The White Way? Discussing Racial Privilege and White Advantage

Whites generally take for granted their racial privileges. This session will discuss the advantages that Whites have received and the approaches for creating greater equality.


  • Joe Feagin, Ella C. McFadden Professor in Sociology, Texas A & M University
  • Charles Gallagher, Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice, La Salle University

From the Start: Identifying Disparities in Children’s and Adult's Mental Health

Minority children in particular tend to have greater mental health problems than White children. This session will summarize the research on racial disparities in mental health and prescribe solutions to these problems.


  • Oscar A. Barbarin III – L. Richardson and Emily Preyer Bicentennial Distinguished Professor, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • David Takeuchi, Associate Dean for Research, School of Social Work, University of Washington

Saturday, June 5 Evening

Panel Discussion: Post-Racial America—Does It and Should It Exist?

The election of America’s first Black president has caused some people to argue that America is now color blind and that there is no reason for race-focused initiatives. This panel will discuss whether America is now -- or should strive to be -- a color blind society.


  • Alex Castellanos, Partner, National Media, Inc., guest commentator, CNN.


  • Abigail Thernstrom, Adjunct Scholar, American Enterprise Institute; Vice-chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
  • Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Professor of Sociology, Duke University
  • Ben Jealous, President and CEO, the NAACP
  • Tony Norman, Columnist, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette