Inaugural Rutgers–Camden Chancellor’s Lecture on Global Racial Reckoning and Civility to Focus on ‘Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality’

Georgetown Law Professor Sheryll Cashin, author of White Space, Black Hood, will deliver the lecture on April 11.

March 16, 2021

By Sam Starnes

Rutgers University–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis is pleased to announce that noted scholar, author and law professor Sheryll Cashin will deliver the inaugural Rutgers University Camden Chancellor’s Lecture on Global Racial Reckoning and Civility at 4 p.m. Monday, April 11.

An expert on race, class and activism, Cashin’s lecture will draw on the messages in her newest book, White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality. The lecture, which will take place in the Multi-Purpose Room in the Campus Center, 326 Penn St., is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

“Sheryll Cashin is one of America’s most insightful voices on race, class and society,” Chancellor Tillis said. “Her nuanced, intellectually rigorous scholarship is a force for good in the fight to understand the complexities surrounding racial division and inequality. Her scholarly dedication to improving human values is in perfect harmony with the goals of the Chancellor’s Lecture on Global Racial Reckoning and Civility. I am thrilled she will be the first scholar to deliver this annual lecture.”

A child of the civil rights movement, Cashin was born in Huntsville, Alabama, to politically active parents. Her father, a successful dentist, was the first Black candidate for governor of Alabama since Reconstruction, and her mother was involved in sit-in protests. Cashin saw firsthand the misfortunes that could befall African Americans who decided to speak out against the racism they encountered in their lives.

Despite those hardships, Cashin was not deterred from pursuing a life of activism and scholarship. She holds degrees from Vanderbilt University, Oxford University (where she was a Marshall Scholar) and Harvard Law School. Currently, she is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Civil Rights and Social Justice, at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Cashin has honed her expertise both inside and outside the classroom. She clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and served as an urban and economic policy adviser to President Bill Clinton’s administration.

A frequent commentator for NPR, PBS, Sirius XM and other outlets who has contributed to the New York Times, Cashin brings decades of scholarship and hands-on experience to the podium for the Chancellor’s Lecture on Global Racial Reckoning and Civility.

Her books—which in addition to White Space, Black Hood include the acclaimed Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America and Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy—have been nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Nonfiction, and selected for an Editors’ Choice in the New York Times Book Review.

Drawing on nearly two decades of research in cities including Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago, New York, and Cleveland, White Space, Black Hood traces the processes of this nation’s caste system as it relates to practices in housing, policing, schools and transportation. In the book published in fall 2021, she exposes the ways in which American policy decisions have constructed a “residential caste system” resulting in the entrapment of poor Black people in high-poverty neighborhoods while excessive resources are funneled to affluent environs in the same cities. Cashin contends that geography is now central to American caste, and details how policy decisions made in the early twentieth century to intentionally construct “ghettos” manifest in inequality and opportunity hoarding today. Connecting history with the present, Cashin underscores the urgency of reimaging new humane systems that stop investing in segregation and promote repair and equity in historically defunded neighborhoods.

The new Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Global Racial Reckoning and Civility is one of 15 strategic initiatives championed by Chancellor Tillis. The series strives to provide timely and ongoing conversation with scholars and activists on trending topics, domestic and global, that challenge and amplify our understanding of global civility and humaneness. Topics will include conversations on racism, discrimination, classism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and others that challenge our vision of a beloved community at home and abroad. Invited guests will engage multiple communities on campus and will give a public lecture for the campus community and the greater Camden community.

For more information and to register for the lecture on April 11, visit the event’s web page.

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