When Delores Aldridge was a student at what is now Clark Atlanta University, her participation in civil rights marches landed her several times in jail. “I was in jail when Martin Luther King Jr. visited, telling us to ‘hold on,’” she recalls.
“I was very young then,” adds the Grace Towns Hamilton Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, “but I felt that I could not let this moment pass and not be a part of helping to transform and make things better.”
Aldridge is receiving the 2010 Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award, given by the American Sociological Association to honor scholars who serve social justice with an eye toward advancing the status of disadvantaged populations. As Emory’s first African American female faculty member, Aldridge pioneered the first degree-granting Black Studies program in the South. She will receive the national award at the ASA’s annual meeting in Atlanta Aug. 14-17. Thousands of sociologists from around the country are expected at the conference, themed “Toward a Sociology of Citizenship: Inclusion, Participation and Rights.”
Presentations will include one by a team of Emory faculty, which is investigating whether moving from a project-based public housing system to a voucher system is impacting crime in Atlanta neighborhoods.
“Atlanta planned by 2010 to have demolished all of its large-scale public housing projects, which would make it the first in the country to do so,” says sociologist Elizabeth Griffiths, a co-investigator, along with political scientists Michael Rich and Michael Leo Owens and public health biostatician Lance Waller. Work is far from complete on the ambitious study, Griffiths says, which will include comparative data on Chicago from the Urban Institute.
Some of the other Emory sociologists slated to present include Irene Browne, whose talk is called “We don’t eat tortillas: Racial and class distinctions between middle-class Dominicans and Mexicans living in Atlanta;” Dennis Condron, who will describe his global research into “Affluence, Inequality and Educational Achievement;” Roberto Franzosi, on “Narratives of Lynching in Georgia, from 1875-1930;” and Timothy Dowd, on “Life in Music and Music in Life.”
Profile of Delores Aldridge
Separate and unequal?