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College of Arts and Sciences
 Black Lives Matter Protestors marching

Exploring the Far-Reaching Impacts of Institutional Racism

Year-long webinar series features faculty experts and journalist moderators

Racism in America

Faculty experts will examine how racism is embedded in education, criminal justice, health care and economic systems, as well as within U.S. government policy. Organized in partnership with the American Studies Program and open to the general public, this webinar series will explore research-based discoveries and potential solutions for combating systemic racism and improving equity.

Education and Housing

Nov. 19, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Poster design for education and housing

Moderated by Adam Harris, staff writer for The Atlantic, faculty experts addressed the history of educational inequities in the U.S., residential and urban segregation past and present, why efforts aimed at ameliorating the impact of racism in education and housing so often fail, and ideas for how to address real change. Audience questions were answered throughout the panel.

Watch here.

Adam Harris
Adam Harris,

The panelists:

Noliwe Rooks

Noliwe Rooks

W.E.B. Du Bois Professor, Africana Studies and Research Center
Director, American Studies Program

Kendra Bischoff

Kendra Bischoff

Associate Professor,
Department of Sociology

Daniel Lichter

Daniel Lichter

Ferris Family Professor of Policy Analysis and Management,
College of Human Ecology

Sergio Garcia Rios

Sergio Garcia Rios

Assistant Professor,
Department of Government, Latina/o Studies Program


Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun: A Drama in Three Acts. New York: Random House, 1959.

Harlan, Louis R. Separate and Unequal: Public School Campaigns and Racism in the Southern Seaboard States, 1901-1915. University of North Carolina Press, 1958.

Harris, Adam and Adraint Khadafhi Bereal (photographer). "The Black Yearbook: Photos from the University of Texas at Austin," The Atlantic, September 2020 issue.

Harris, Adam. "The Limits of Desegregation in Washington, D.C.," The Atlantic, September 29, 2020.

Harris, Adam. "The Undoing of a Tennessee Town," The Atlantic, September 29, 2020.

Harris, Adam. "The Persistence of Segregation in South Carolina," The Atlantic, September 29, 2020.

Joffe-Walt, Chana. "Nice White Parents," (podcast) Serial and the New York Times, July 23, 2020.

Jones, Nikole Hannah. "The Problem We All Live With," This American Life, WBEZ Chicago, July 31, 2015. 

Massey, Douglas S. and Nancy A. Denton. American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the UnderclassHarvard University Press, 1998.

Myrdal, Gunnar and Ralphe Bunche. An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. Harper & Brothers, 1944.

Rooks, Noliwe. Cutting School: The Segrenomics of American Education. New York: The New Press, 2017.

Taylor, Keanga-Yamata. Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership. University of North Carolina Press, 2019.

United States, National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Report). February 29, 1968.

Wilkerson, Isabelle. Caste: The Origins of our Discontents. New York: Random House, 2020.

Wilkerson, Isabelle. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration. New York: Random House, 2010.

Policing and Incarceration

Sept. 16, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Razor-wire surrounding a prison

This webinar addresses how racism came to be so enmeshed in policing and incarceration in the United States and why efforts aimed at ameliorating its impact so often fail. Participants discussed what is meant by prison abolition and police defunding, why racism matters, and possible ways for the country to move forward. 

Racism in America

The College of Arts & Sciences partnered with Cornell Law School for this event, with opening remarks from Noliwe Rooks, The W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of Literature and director of the American Studies Program. Marc Lacey ’87, national editor for The New York Times and the inaugural College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Visiting Journalist served as moderator. The four panelists were:

Marc Lacey
Marc Lacey
Noliwe Rooks
Noliwe Rooks
Peter K. Enns

Peter K. Enns

Associate Professor
Department of Government

Executive Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, Co-Director of the Cornell Center for Social Sciences

Anna R. Haskins

Anna R. Haskins

Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology

Sabrina Karim

Sabrina Karim

Hardis Family Assistant Professor
Department of Government

Joseph Margulies

Joseph Margulies

Professor of Law and Government
Cornell Law School

Professor of Practice
Department of Government

References and Resources

Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow : Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: [Jackson, Tenn.]: New Press; Distributed by Perseus Distribution, 2010.

Blackmon, Douglas A. Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. Anchor Books, 2009

Blair, Robert, Sabrina Karim, Benjamin Morse, 2019. “Establishing the Rule of Law in Weak and War-torn States: Evidence from a Field Experiment with the Liberian National Police,” American Political Science Review, 113(3): 641–657

Davis, Angela Yvonne. Are Prisons Obsolete? New York: Seven Stories Press, 2003.

Enns, Peter. Incarceration Nation: How the United States Became the Most Punitive Democracy in the World. Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Forman, James. Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. 1st ed., University of California Press, 2007. 

Haskins, Anna R., Mariana Amorim, and Meaghan Mingo. 2018. “Parental Incarceration and Child Outcomes: Those at Risk, Evidence of Impacts, Methodological Insights, and Areas of Future Work.Sociology Compass 12:e12562 1-14. 

Haskins, Anna R. and Hedwig Lee. 2016. “Reexamining Race when Studying the Consequences of Criminal Justice Contact for Families.” ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 665: 224-230.

Hubler, Shawn and Julie Bosman. "A Crisis That Began With an Image of Police Violence Keeps Providing More." New York Times, June 5, 2020.

Jackson, George, 1941-. Soledad Brother; the Prison Letters of George Jackson. New York :Coward-McCann, 1970.

Karim, Sabrina. "Relational State Building in Areas of Limited Statehood: Experimental Evidence on the Attitudes of the Police." American Political Science Review 114.2 (2020): 536-551.

Muhammad, Khalil G. The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America. Harvard University Press, 2010.

Richie, Beth. Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation. NYU Press, 2012.

Robertson, Campbell. "Crime Is Down, Yet U.S. Incarceration Rates Are Still Among the Highest in the World." New York TimesApril 25, 2019.

Schrader, Stuart. Badges without borders: how global counterinsurgency transformed American policing. Vol. 56. University of California Press, 2019.

Stevenson, Bryan. "Slavery gave America a fear of black people and a taste for violent punishment. Both still define our criminal-justice system." New York Times Magazine, August 14, 2019.

Wacquant, Loic. "Deadly Symbiosis: When Ghetto and Prison Meet and Mesh." Punishment & Society. 2001;3(1):95-133. doi:10.1177/14624740122228276

Upcoming webinars

Protest Movements and Civil Disobedience
Spring 2021

Health Care Inequalities
Spring 2021

Race and the Economy
Spring 2021

Co-hosted by the American Studies Program, the series is supported by Alumni Affairs and Development and Diversity Alumni Programs and powered by eCornell. Other colleges and schools at Cornell will be partnering on individual events throughout the year.