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Annual race relations lecture to discuss policing of African-American men

Walter R. Allen
April 13, 2015

Walter R. Allen, distinguished professor of education and sociology at UCLA, will discuss the policing of African-American men on college campuses at the 20th annual A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations.

The lecture, designed to promote racial parity, was created in honor of deceased Arizona State University professor and chair of sociology A. Wade Smith. The free lecture will be held at 7 p.m., April 29 at the Arizona Ballroom in the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus.

Allen's lecture, "Black Lives Matter: Hyper-Surveillance and Policing Black Males on U.S. Campuses," will touch on the social science of incidents involving police security and black men. Allen said he chose this topic because of national news like Ferguson, Missouri, even if it didn't happen on a college campus.

"While we celebrate progress that's been made, we recognize there is still a long journey ahead to the place where we don't have these types of problems in American society," said Allen, also the Allan Murray Cartter Professor in Higher Education at UCLA in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

Allen earned his doctorate and master's degree from the University of Chicago in sociology, and his bachelor's degree in sociology at Beloit College in Wisconsin. Allen has done extensive research on higher education, race and ethnicity, family patterns, social inequality and the African diaspora.

His work has been featured in more than 100 publications, and he has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS 60 Minutes, the British Broadcasting Corporation and more. He holds leading positions in two different studies that focus on ethnicity and race in legal education and college attendance in California.

"Professor Allen is one of the leading experts in this field," said Patrick J. Kenney, vice provost and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "We're honored that he is coming to ASU to share his thoughts and insight with us regarding race relations in the U.S."

Founded in 1995, the A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations' past speakers have included civil rights attorney Lani Guinier, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover and racial activist Tim Wise.