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Dr. Larry E. Davis to speak on "Racism in America: A Call to Action for Social Work Researchers"

Please join us for the 4th annual Bobby Boyd Leadership Lecture, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at 5:30 p.m., at the UNC School of Social Work. This event, which is co-sponsored by the School’s Diversity Committee, is free and open to the public. The lecture will be held in the School’s auditorium.

Larry E. Davis, dean at the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, will speak on”Racism in America: A Call to Action for Social Work Researchers.” Davis has spent his life and career dedicated to issues of race, civil rights and social justice. He has long been recognized as a leading scholar of the narrative about race in America and its role in social justice. He has dedicated his academic life to the creation of solution-based dialogues that promote a more racially equitable society.

More about the speaker

Davis, who has served as dean of the Pitt School of Social Work since 2001, is also the founding director of the university’s Center for Race and Social Problems, which conducts applied social science research on race, ethnicity and color. It is the first such center to be created in any American school of social work.

Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Michigan State University and master’s degrees in social work and in psychology from the University of Michigan. After graduation, he joined VISTA and spent three years in one of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods.

He returned to academia and became the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. from the dual-degree program in social work and psychology at the University of Michigan. He pursued both degrees because he believed that the methodology of psychology, combined with the tools of social work, would enable him to bridge the gap between analysis and application.
He has written, edited or co-authored seven books. His latest book “Why Are They Angry With Us: Essays on Race” is his most personal book, as it touches on themes of racial identity, internalized racism and the legacy of slavery. Over the years, his work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation.

About the Bobby Boyd Leadership Lecture

UNC School of Social Work alumnus and Board of Advisors member Bobby Boyd, MSW ’69, received a Distinguished Alumni Award in May 2009. He retired in October 2008 from a 30-year career as director of Catawba County Social Services.

The lecture series is made possible by the Bobby Boyd Leadership Fund at the School of Social Work, which was established by Boyd’s former staff at the Catawba County Department of Social Services, the Social Services Board and Catawba County Commissioners.

With the purpose of sustaining Boyd’s vision of focusing on results and excellence in public service, the fund supports leadership development and opportunities for UNC School of Social Work students. The Bobby Boyd Lecture Series provides a forum for leaders from various fields of practice to discuss their experiences and their use of specific strategies to provide leadership aimed to promote social change interventions.