Wilson, leading authority on race and poverty, to speak Oct. 19

Sociologist William Julius Wilson, PhD, the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University and a leading authority on race and poverty in the United States, will deliver the biennial lecture for Washington University’s Center on Urban Research and Public Policy at 1:10 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, in the Danforth University Center, Room 276.

William Julius Wilson

Wilson, who also is director of the Joblessness and Urban Poverty Research Program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, will talk on “Why Both Social Structure and Culture Matter in a Holistic Analysis of Inner-City Poverty.” His talk is free and open to the public.

“The majority of the world now lives in urban areas, in cities and megacities. Without question, the work of William J. Wilson is absolutely foundational to the study of urbanization and the human condition in contemporary society,” says Carol Camp Yeakey, PhD, professor of urban studies in Arts & Sciences and founding director of the Center on Urban Research and Public Policy.

“While most scholars avoid controversial topics and issues, Professor Wilson dares to research the human condition and calls into question the profound social, political and economic challenges facing America’s cities and dense populations around the globe,” says Yeakey, who also is a professor of education, of international and area studies and of American culture studies, all in Arts & Sciences. “It is a great honor to have Professor Wilson come to Washington University in St. Louis.”

Wilson is one of only 20 University Professors, the highest professional distinction for a Harvard faculty member.

A MacArthur Prize Fellow from 1987-1992, Wilson has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, the American Philosophical Society, the Institute of Medicine and the British Academy.

In 1996, he was selected by Time magazine as one of America’s 25 Most Influential People. He is a recipient of the 1998 National Medal of Science, the highest scientific honor in the United States, and was awarded the Talcott Parsons Prize in the Social Sciences by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.

He is the author of numerous award-winning books, including The Declining Significance of Race; The Truly Disadvantaged; There Goes the Neighborhood: Racial, Ethnic and Class Tensions in Four Chicago Neighborhoods and Their Meaning for America; and When Work Disappears, among many others.

Past president of the American Sociological Association, Wilson has received 44 honorary degrees.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities, the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, the Office of Diversity Programs in the School of Medicine, the Law and Culture Initiative in the School of Law and the Murray Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy.

For more information, e-mail cyeakey@wustl.edu.

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