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Stanford Professor to Receive Award from Brandeis

Published: September 21, 2012
Section: News


Stanford University sociology professor and director of urban studies Doug McAdam is the recipient of the 2012 Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize. McAdam is the author of two books on the civil rights movement, including “Freedom Summer,” a 20-year follow-up study of the lives of those who applied to take part in the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project, a campaign to register African American voters.

McAdam has also researched the ongoing civic effect of participation in Teach for America, the relationship between neighborhood religious and civic life in Chicago. His research also seeks to explain county level variation in the burnings of churches in the United States between 1996 and 2001.

Surprising research that Professor McAdams has conducted was in collaboration with Professor Rob Sampson, a professor of sociology at Harvard University on civic and religious life in the neighborhoods of Chicago, which revealed that religiosity and civic activism are inversely related.

Last year, in response to the Occupy protests at Stanford, McAdam and other colleagues launched Occupy the Future, described by the Brandeis University website as a more academic, broad-based alliance that organized a series of teach-ins and a rally on campus.

The goal of Occupy the Future is to make the product of the Occupation a permanent third-force, a Civil Society, which can balance the powers of business and government by bringing more voice to the average citizen than to the CEO’s and politicians, according to its website.

“The struggle for racial and social justice is long and complex,” President Lawrence told BrandeisNOW, “and requires the work of scholars and researchers unwaveringly committed to the search for truth. Doug McAdam’s work places him in the top tier of such scholars. This is precisely what the Gittler prize was designed to honor.”

McAdam will visit campus on Nov. 15 to receive the medal and $25,000 award that accompany the Gittler prize, in addition to delivering a lecture titled “The Continuing Significance of Race in America’s Politics of Inequality.”

The Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize is awarded to those who have made scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic or religious relations by Brandeis University. The award is named after the late professor and respected sociologist Joseph B. Gittler, who served as a member of the faculty of many leading universities, including Duke University, George Mason University, the University of Rochester, Iowa State University, the University of Georgia, Yeshiva University, Cardozo Law School, Hiroshima University in Japan and Ben-Gurion University in Israel. The award also honors Gittler’s mother, Toby Gittler.

In 2011, the prize was awarded to Professor Emerita Frances Smith Foster of Emory University and Stanford historian Clayborne Carson.

Smith Foster has written work that disputed established ideas about African American family life during and following the era of slavery in the United States. Carson is director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute and since 1985 has directed the Martin Luther King Papers Project, a long-term project to edit and publish the papers of Martin Luther King Jr.