Nov. 3-4 Chicago events to explore discrimination and inequities in the modern metropolis

Scholars from the University of Chicago’s Urban Network and their colleagues from France and other U.S. institutions will take a comparative look at arts, activity, race and policy in two contrasting nations.

Titled “City/Cité: A Transatlantic Exchange,” the events will take place Nov. 3 at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Nov. 4 at the University of Chicago. The events, sponsored by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, UChicago and UIC, are free and open to the public.


The Nov. 4 program will take place in the lobby of UChicago’s School of Social Service Administration, 969 E. 60th St. Participants include five scholars affiliated with the UChicago Urban Network, an intellectual hub for faculty, students, policymakers and others interested in the University’s urban research.

Delivering the day’s keynote address at 8:45 a.m. will be Mary Pattillo, professor of sociology at Northwestern University, who will discuss “The Future of Black Metropolis.”

The morning panel discussion will focus on “Police-Community Relations in Transatlantic Perspective.” The longstanding relationship between policy and disadvantaged communities has only recently emerged as a critical social problem receiving broad attention in the media and among policymakers in the United States and France.

The panel will draw upon the perspectives of academics, advocates, policymakers and practitioners from the U.S. and France. Moderating the panel will be Robert Chaskin, professor in SSA. Among the six panelists will be UChicago’s Forrest Stuart, assistant professor in sociology, and Craig Futterman, clinical professor of law.

The first panel discussion of the afternoon will be devoted to “Arts & Culture: Art and Community Engagement/Youth Programs in the Arts.” This session will explore programs and projects that engage urban youth—especially teenagers, in arts and cultural activities that build skills in creative expression, critical thinking and empowerment. These include an urban arts community center that teaches entrepreneurship through the arts, and a theater program that engages diverse teens in producing high-quality performances based on their real-life experiences.

A member of the panel on Youth Programs in the Arts will be Emily Lansana, community partnerships manager for the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.

The day’s last panel discussion will cover “Racial Discrimination and Anti-Discrimination in the United States and France.” This panel will explore how discrimination manifests itself across different segments of minority communities, the changing governmental roles in reinforcing and undermining regimes of racial inequality in both countries, and the diverse strategies that have developed in the 21st century to combat forms of racial domination.

Moderating the panel will be Michael Dawson, the John D. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science and founding director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. Among the five panelists will be Cathy Cohen, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor in Political Science.

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