The Departments of Sociology and Community & Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are committed
to understanding and ameliorating racial inequality.
To this end, the study of race, justice, and inequality is at the fore for many of our faculty and graduate students.
This page serves as a resource for these efforts, ranging from research, to teaching, to public outreach.
Statement of Solidarity with our
Black Community Members
From the Chairs of the
Joint Graduate Program
May 31, 2020
As Chairs of the joint program in Sociology, we join our voices to Chancellor Blank’s message.
Our community is founded on supporting the dignity, flourishing, and safety of all its diverse members. In light of recent heart-wrenching events in our nation and our city, we write now to specifically affirm our support for our Black community members. We stand with and support Black students, faculty, and staff.
Sociologists seek to understand the roots of social injustice and racialized violence and to provide the intellectual foundation for addressing it. Never has our work been more needed. We recognize that UW-Madison and our own programs need to improve in providing vibrantly diverse spaces that live up to our hopes and goals of addressing racial injustice. We are committed to work together to do our part to end racism and structural racism and to live up to our values of decency, excellence, and diversity in all ways. For this reason, our first department meetings of the fall will include an agenda item with options for discussion on how we might collectively foster creative discussion and scholarship in response to these issues.
On a personal note to those faculty, students, and staff who may be experiencing feelings of trauma or stress around these events, we want you to know that we are thinking about you. Please do not hesitate to reach out if there are ways we can provide personal support to you in this time.
Mike Bell, Department Chair, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology
Christine Schwartz, Department Chair, Department of Sociology
Faculty Speak out about
racial injustice, the police, & protests
- John Eason explains challenges involved to make changes to law enforcement in an interview in the Wisconsin Examiner. He says, “I’d argue, make the police better. This is beyond a call to defund them.”
- Pam Oliver provides comment about current and historical protests against police brutality in an interview with Madison’s NBC 15 news. She is working on a research project analyzing how racism and black protests against police violence have been changing since the 1990s in the United States. Oliver says, “Was I shocked about what happened in Minneapolis? No.”
- John Eason is interviewed on Medical News Today about why incarceration is a public health concern in the United States and the toll it takes on Black communities.