Discussion Series on Prejudice, Discrimination & Anti-racism

A Five-Part Series of Interactive Discussions by W&L Faculty, Guest Faculty, and Alumni on Challenges Facing Racial Relations in American Society Today

Each session is a Zoom webinar. You will receive a link to join the webinar after registering. We are asking that you submit questions beforehand through the registration page.

’I’m not prejudiced but…’: Examining Implicit and Explicit Bias

Sunday, October 11 at 7 p.m. EST
Drawing from her popular undergraduate course, professor of cognitive and behavioral science, Julie Woodzicka, will discuss how stereotyping in human relations can lead to prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behavior. W&L alumna Murray Shortall ’03, a psychiatric nurse practitioner and former student of Woodzicka’s, will introduce Woodzicka.

The Black Vote and Representation in Congress

Sunday, October 18 at 7 p.m. EST
Bob Strong, the William Lyne Wilson Professor in Political Economy at W&L, will team up with UNC-Chapel Hill professor and political scientist Christopher Clark to discuss the evolution of Black influence on presidential politics and congressional elections. Drawing on his latest book, Character and Consequence, Strong will describe racial issues during the George H.W. Bush presidency and those evident in the current administration. Clark, an expert on minority representation in the US with a focus on state politics, has recently published has recently published a full-length study of Black political influence, Gaining Voice: The Causes and Consequences of Black Representation in the American States.

Equality of Opportunity, Race, and Life-Course Outcomes in U.S.

Sunday, October 25 at 7 p.m. EST
The Jackson T. Stephens Professor of Economics at W&L, Art Goldsmith, and Howard Pickett, Director of W&L’s Shepherd Poverty Program, will focus on challenges faced by Black Americans in employment and advancement. Goldsmith will discuss racial inequities in the labor force, chronic unemployment and poverty among Black Americans. In addition to explaining how Black economic standing is disproportionately below the poverty line, Pickett will explain how the Shepherd Program seeks to educate and engage W&L students on these issues. Two Black W&L alumni, Cynthia Cheatham ’07 and Jonathan Harris ’92, will serve as respondents. Recording coming soon.

Monuments and Statues

Sunday, November 8 at 7 p.m. EST
Associate professor of French and program chair of Africana Studies Mohamed Kamara; the John K. Boardman, Jr. Professor of Politics Lucas Morel; S. Waite Rawls III, senior advisor to and former president of the American Civil War Museum; and Rita Davis ’93, legal counsel to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and an architect of his 2020 decisions concerning Monument Avenue in Richmond.  These panelists will exchange different views on the meaning, impacts and future of historical monuments and statues.

Diversity and Inclusion at W&L and in the Workplace

Monday, November 16 at 7 p.m. EST
Alumnae Heather Brock ’90; Susan Swayze Ph.D. ’90; and W&L Dean of Diversity, Inclusion and Student Engagement Tamara Futrell. Ms. Brock is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at a national law firm.  Dr. Swayze teaches in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University. Ms. Brock and Dr. Swayze will discuss the importance of inclusion and diversity in education and the workplace. Dean Futrell will discuss W&L’s ongoing efforts in this regard.