Category Archives: Race and American Politics

The Elephant in Activism: An Open Letter

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This post, written in the form of an open letter to civic activists, is by Ali Imad Fadlallah, Doctor of Education Leadership Candidate at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Fadlallah offers commentary on the contemporary landscape of activism and protest such as the #BlackLivesMatter movement, through the lens of the book The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution by Micah White, through the work of Marshall Ganz, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School, and through his own personal experience and commitment to racial justice and equality. Read more posts and see upcoming events in our Race and American Politics Seminar Series.
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Filed under Future of Social Movements, Participation, Policing, Race and American Politics

Why Mass Incarceration May Have Destroyed Our Communities

10525869_10101202330137563_2072457776631529863_nOn March 9, 2016, Leah Wright Rigueur, Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor of Public Policy, hosted a conversation with Heather Ann Thompson, Professor of Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan. They were joined by Elizabeth Hinton, Assistant Professor of History and of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University, and Phillip Goff, Visiting Scholar with the Malcolm Weiner Center for Social Policy. The Ash Center sponsored the event as part of the Race and American Politics seminar series. In this post, HKS student Michael Huggins recaps the panel discussion and explores Thompson’s research on why mass incarceration matters to our cities, economy, and democracy. The panel considered why politicians and policy makers have started to rethink the American carceral state and addressed the barriers that prevent individuals from reentering society and deteriorating police-community relations that further degrade public trust in the government and local institutions. Continue reading

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Filed under Policing, Race and American Politics

Is Gun Control Black Control? Black Politics and Gun Violence in America

10525869_10101202330137563_2072457776631529863_nOn February 17, 2016, Leah Wright Rigueur, Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor of Public Policy, hosted a conversation with Martha Biondi, Chair of the Department of African American Studies and Professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University. The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation sponsored the event as part of the Race and American Politics seminar series. This blog will articulate Professor Biondi’s research on how gun control and gun violence intersect with race and politics. Biondi also investigates whether gun control laws protect black lives or oppress them.

The Ash Center’s Race and American Politics Series is a multidisciplinary series of seminars and round-table conversations led by Leah Wright Rigueur. Co-sponsored by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research and Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, the series features academic, practitioner, and journalistic perspectives from across the nation on the most pressing political and social issues related to race in the United States. Read other posts covering the Race and American Politics seminar series here.

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Filed under Policing, Race and American Politics

Race, Public Opinion, and the Fight Over Reparations in the Age of Obama

10525869_10101202330137563_2072457776631529863_nOn November 8, 2015, Leah Wright Rigueur, Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor of Public Policy, moderated a discussion between Michael C. Dawson, the John D. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago, and Walter Johnson, the Winthrop Professor of History at Harvard University. The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation sponsored the event as part of the Race and American Politics seminar series. The discussion between the two professors primarily examines the common objections to reparations for the African enslavement in the United States. This post presents the main arguments for and against reparations as presented by Professors Dawson and Johnson.

The Ash Center’s Race and American Politics Series is a multidisciplinary series of seminars and round-table conversations led by Leah Wright Rigueur. Co-sponsored by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research and Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, the series features academic, practitioner, and journalistic perspectives from across the nation on the most pressing political and social issues related to race in the United States. Read other posts covering the Race and American Politics seminar series here.

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Filed under Inequality vs Democracy, Political Polarization, Race and American Politics

America’s Struggle for Voting Rights

Give us the ballotIn October 2015, the Ash Center hosted the inaugural session of its Race and American Politics Seminar Series featuring an author’s talk with The Nation’s Ari Berman. Berman discussed his new book Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America with Lani Guinier, the Bennett Boskey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Leah Wright Rigueur, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and chair of the Race and American Politics Seminar Series, and Alex Keyssar, Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

The Ash Center’s Race and American Politics Series is a multidisciplinary series of seminars and round-table conversations led by Leah Wright Rigueur. Co-sponsored by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research and Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, the series features academic, practitioner, and journalistic perspectives from across the nation on the most pressing political and social issues related to race in the United States. See other events and read more about the series here.

Read posts about other events in this seminar series here.

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Filed under Inequality vs Democracy, Race and American Politics, Representation, Voting Rights