Emory Report
November 14, 2005
Volume 58, Number 11


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November 14 , 2005

Stanford professors to deliver Unity Month keynote address

BY chanmi kim

Talking Race Post-Katrina” is the topic of Unity Month’s keynote presentation, to be held today,
Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in Gambrell Hall’s Tull Auditorium. Stanford University’s Lawrence Bobo, professor of sociology, and Marcyliena Morgan, associate professor of communication, will bring multidisciplinary perspectives to a discussion on race post Hurricane Katrina.

“[Their visit] is good timing as Emory is further developing the strategic plan and focusing on the theme of facing the human condition, which is inclusive of race and diversity,” said Donna Wong, associate director of multicultural programs and services and Unity Month planning committee chair.

Bobo and Morgan, who are married, both taught at Harvard before joining Stanford’s faculty last year. Although Bobo’s faculty appointment is in sociology, his scope of knowledge encompasses much more: he focuses on the progress of racial integration, racial attitudes and relations, social psychology, and public opinion and political behavior.

He is the recipient of numerous awards including the W.E.B. DuBois Medal for African and African American Research and the American Association for Public Opinion Research Outstanding Book Award (for Racial Attitudes in America: Trends and Interpretations, Harvard University Press, 1998), and is an elected member of the National Academy of Science.

He is currently doing research on race, crime and public opinion, and serves as the director of both the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and the African and African American Studies program at Stanford.

Morgan’s expertise is multidisciplinary as well. Her research centers around youth, gender, language, culture and identity, sociolinguistics, discourse and interaction. She has contributed to numerous publications and is the author of Language, Discourse and Power in African American Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and editor of Language and the Social Construction of Identity in Creole Situations (CAAS Publications, 1994).

She is currently finishing a book on hip-hop culture entitled The Real Hiphop—Battling for Knowledge, Power and Respect in the Underground. She also serves as the executive director of Stanford’s Hiphop Archive, and also founded the Hiphop Archive at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University.

“The Katrina incident has caused us to look at ourselves in terms of class,” said Vera Rorie, director of the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services. “That group of people who couldn’t get out when Katrina hit really says something about us as a country.

“We lead a lifestyle that some of these victims cannot imagine,” Rorie continued. “We’re actually two different worlds in America. There is a divide between races.”

Bobo and Morgan’s speech is not the only race dialogue remaining in this year’s Unity Celebration month. A panel discussion on “Affirmative Action from a Minority Perspective: Is It Fair?” will be held tomorrow, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Dobbs Center’s Winship Ballroom, and a “Forum on the Refugees’ Experience” hosted by the student group Racial and Cultural Education Source (RACES) on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. in Winship Ballroom. For information on events for the remainder of Unity Month, visit www.emory.edu/MULTICULTURAL/UNITYMONTH/.