One of the nation’s leading urban ethnographers will talk about race and civility in everyday life in a free, public address, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the Elson Floyd Cultural Center at Washington State University.
The speaker, Elijah Anderson, will be honored by WSU with the 2017 William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Social Justice in recognition his scholarly and applied work to promote racial integration and social harmony.
Anderson, who is the William K. Lanman Jr. professor of sociology at Yale University, will discuss the resilience of the “cosmopolitan canopy” — a metaphor for civil society — and how the canopy can help teach, reinforce and spread social tolerance and mutual understanding.
“A college campus can be thought of as a cosmopolitan canopy — an island of civility in a sea of segregated living, where diverse people come together and typically get along — unlike urban ghettos, suburbs and ethnic enclaves where segregation is more often the norm,” Anderson said.
He will discuss what happens under the canopy when the two predominant types of people there encounter each other, how each feels and functions, and what challenges they face and adapt to or hide from.