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Roberts honored by Columbia for scholarship on race and justice

February 27, 2017

In recognition of her extensive work on race and justice, Penn Law professor Dorothy Roberts has been named the recipient of the Mamie Phipps Clark and Kenneth B. Clark Distinguished Lecture Award from Columbia University. 

The Mamie Phipps Clark and Kenneth B. Clark Distinguished Lecture Award is named for two psychologists and Columbia graduates who conducted experiments about children’s attitudes toward race that were instrumental in the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education

“This is truly a fitting honor for Dorothy Roberts, a scholar who has spent her career drawing vital connections between issues of race, justice, and the law,” said Ted Ruger, Dean of Penn Law and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law. “Her work shows the critical importance of research that reaches across disciplinary boundaries to broaden and deepen our understanding of the world.” 

Roberts, the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, is the 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, holding joint appointments in the Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology and the Law School. She is also founding director of the Penn Program on Race, Science & Society in the Center for Africana Studies. 

“I feel deeply honored by this recognition of my work,” said Roberts. “I’m gratified that my research and advocacy over the course of my academic career have been useful to scholars in a variety of disciplines for promoting social justice and our common humanity.” 

Roberts’s acclaimed work in law and public policy focuses on urgent contemporary issues in health, social justice, and bioethics, especially as they impact the lives of women, children, and African-Americans. Most recently, her work on race and medicine was featured on NPR’s TED Radio Hour and recognized by the Society of Family Planning’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award.

As part of the Clark Award, Roberts will deliver a lecture at Columbia University on April 12.