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Roberts named recipient of Fuller Award honoring her achievements for the black community

January 26, 2015

Penn Law professor Dorothy E. Roberts has been named the recipient of the 2015 Solomon Carter Fuller Award by the American Psychiatric Foundation. The award honors a black citizen who has pioneered in an area which has significantly benefited the quality of life for black people.

Roberts is an acclaimed scholar of race, gender, and the law. She joined the University of Pennsylvania as the 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with a joint appointment in the Law School and the Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology. She is also the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights.

“Professor Roberts is one of the nation’s leading scholars on the intersection of race, gender, and the law,” said Wendell Pritchett, Interim Dean of the Law School and Presidential Professor. “At a time when discussions and dialogues about race are critical to our society, her work is vital to understanding and combating racial injustice.”

Most recently, Roberts’s book Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century explored the resurgence of race as a biological category in science, medicine, and biotechnology, and the implications for health inequities and social policy.

Her other books include Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty; Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare; Frug’s Women and the Law; and Sex, Power, and Taboo: Gender and HIV in the Caribbean and Beyond.

“I’m very honored to receive the Fuller Award,” said Roberts. “There’s much that still needs to be done to end racial injustice in America, and I hope this recognition by the American Psychiatric Association shows the potential for scholars from different disciplines to work together to contribute to that struggle.

Roberts will deliver the Fuller Award lecture on May 18 at the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada.

The Fuller Award is named for Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller, the nation’s first black psychiatrist. Born in Liberia in 1872, Fuller graduated from Boston University Medical School and worked as a pathologist at the Westborough State Hospital for the Insane. In 1919, he began teaching pathology at Boston University Medical School, and he worked there for next 34 years. Fuller died in his Boston home in 1953.