William Julius Wilson Retirement Symposium


Wednesday, September 11, 2019 (All day) to Friday, September 13, 2019 (All day)


Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

September 11, 2019 | Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge

6pm-8pm | Welcome & Reception

  • 6:00pm | Welcome Remarks | Henry Louis Gates, Jr. , Harvard University
  • 6:15pm | Keynote Address | Cornel West, Harvard University

Reception will follow keynote address.


September 12, 2019 | Gutman Conference Center, 6 Appian Way, Cambridge

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7:45am – 8:30am | Registration


8:30am – 9:15am | Opening remarks by Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay, & Harvard University Dean of the Social Sciences Lawrence D. Bobo


9:15am–10:45am | Panel 1


Race Relations/Inequality in Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

  • Chair, Mary Waters, Harvard University
  • Jennifer Hochschild, Harvard University
  • Glenn Loury, Brown University
  • Orlando Patterson, Harvard University
  • Thomas Sugrue, New York University
  • Loic Wacquant, University of California, Berkley

11:00am–12:30pm | Panel 2


The Continued Significance of Race, Class, and Culture

  • Chair, Michèle Lamont, Harvard University
  • Elijah Anderson, Yale University
  • Lawrence Bobo, Harvard University
  • Mary Pattillo, Northwestern University
  • Alford Young, University of Michigan

12:30pm-1:30pm | Lunch Break


1:30pm–3:00pm | Panel 3


Place Matters: The Abiding Influence of Neighborhoods on Life Chances

  • Chair, Sandra Smith, University of California, Berkeley
  • Raj Chetty, Harvard University
  • Paul Jargowsky, Rutgers University-Camden
  • Robert Sampson, Harvard University
  • Patrick Sharkey, Princeton University

3:15pm-4:45pm | Panel 4


The Economy, Work, and Welfare

  • Chair, Jason Beckfield, Harvard University
  • Sheldon Danziger, Russell Sage Foundation
  • Kathryn Edin, Princeton University
  • David Ellwood, Harvard University
  • Lawrence Katz, Harvard University

September 13, 2019 | Gutman Conference Center, 6 Appian Way, Cambridge

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Part 4:

8:30am-8:45am | Opening Remarks by Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School, Douglas Elmendorf


8:45am-10:15am | Panel 5


Political Framing, Public Policy, and Political Coalitions

  • Chair, Tommie Shelby, Harvard University
  • Michael Dawson, University of Chicago
  • Robert Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Theda Skocpol, Harvard University
  • Margaret Weir, Brown University

10:30am–12:00pm| Panel 6


Xs and Os: Mass Incarceration, Community Reentry, and Economic Opportunity

  • Phillip Atiba Goff, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Khalil Muhammad, Harvard University
  • Bruce Western, Columbia University

12:15pm-1:00pm | Reflections and Wrap-up

  • William Julius Wilson – reflections on his career and the event

Event organizers (Harvard University): The Office of the President, Faculty of Arts and Sciences/Division of Social Science, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Department of African & African American Studies, Department of Sociology, Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, Harvard Graduate School of Education Office of Development and Alumni Relations