Newly established McLeod Writing Prize awarded to first freshmen

The first-ever Dean James E. McLeod Freshman Writing Prize has been awarded, and the inaugural winners are Senit Kidane and Claudia Vaughan. McLeod was a longtime WUSTL leader who died in 2011. The Center for the Humanities provided funding for the contest, and any freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences could submit work for consideration. Original research papers exploring an aspect of race, gender or identity and created for a freshman course were eligible.

Community forum on U.S. prison system offered Nov. 8

A group of Washington University students, in collaboration with the Missouri History Museum and Gephardt Institute of Public Service, will present a two-part community forum on the evolution of the U.S. prison-industrial complex titled “The Criminal Brand: America’s Invisible Class,” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Missouri History Museum.

Political empowerment fading for black Americans in the age of Obama​

Hailed by some as the “end of race as we know it” and the beginning of a “post-racial” America, the 2008 election of Barack Obama sparked a measurable bump in feelings of political empowerment among black Americans. But those sentiments have faded considerably over the last year or so, according to a new analysis of political survey data, with the sharpest declines in perceived political power coming among blacks who identify themselves as conservatives or “born again” Christians.​

Study looks at discrimination’s impact on smoking

Smoking, the leading preventable cause of mortality in the United States, continues to disproportionately impact lower income members of racial and ethnic minority groups. In a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, Jason Q. Purnell, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, looked at how perceived discrimination influences smoking rates among these groups. “We found that regardless of race or ethnicity, the odds of current smoking were higher among individuals who perceived that they were treated differently because of their race, though racial and ethnic minority groups were more likely to report discrimination,” he says. 

Gerald Early’s ‘A Level Playing Field’ examines the history of race and sports

Remarks made during the recently settled NBA lockout brought the subject of race and sports back into the forefront. Gerald Early’s A Level Playing Field: African American Athletes and the Republic of Sports, is a series of essays that give historical perspective to the issue of race and sports through distinct personalities such as baseball’s Jackie Robinson and Curt Flood and NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb. Early, PhD, is the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
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