Famed Sociologist William Julius Wilson to Speak on Welfare Reform at Honorary Degree Ceremony Feb. 2
William Julius Wilson, one of the country’s most influential thinkers on urban poverty, class, and race, will speak on “Welfare, Children and Families: The Impact of Welfare Reform in the New Economy” at Occidental College on Friday, Feb. 2.
Wilson’s 11:45 a.m. speech at Keck Auditorium on the Occidental campus will follow the presentation of an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters to the well-known scholar, selected by Time magazine in 1996 as one of America’s 25 most influential people. The event is free and open to the public.
Winner of the National Medal of Science and a former MacArthur Prize Fellow, Wilson is the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University – one of only 17 Harvard faculty members to hold a prestigious university professorship. Throughout his career, his research has focused on the impact of inequality and poverty on racial and ethnic relations, family structure and joblessness, and the role of public policies in addressing these issues.
As one of the country’s most influential sociologists, he has authored or edited nine prize-winning books that deal with race relations and urban poverty, including The Declining Significance of Race and The Truly Disadvantaged, selected by the New York Times as one of the best books of 1987. Dr. Wilson is also a past president of the American Sociological Association and has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. His latest book is The Bridge over the Racial Divide: Rising Inequality and Coalition Politics.
Located in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, 114-year-old Occidental College is a selective, nationally ranked college of the liberal arts and sciences. Its 1,700-member student body combines diversity with academic excellence, having won three Rhodes scholarships and scores of other national awards over the past 10 years.