Johns Hopkins prof to discuss racial inequality, democracy

A national expert on police surveillance and violence in Black communities will give a virtual talk at the UO as the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics wraps up its 20th anniversary lecture series.

Vesla Weaver, Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Johns Hopkins University, will discuss “The State From Below: Democracy and Citizenship in Policed Communities,” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11. Registration is required.

Weaver’s findings and insights are timely as the nation confronts structural anti-Black violence and the future of policing, according to Dan Tichenor, Philip H. Knight Chair of Political Science and director of the Wayne Morse Center’s Program for Democratic Governance.

"Ever since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Vesla Weaver has been studying the impact of policing on poor Black citizens in five major American cities,” Tichenor said. “Weaver's research provides a powerful view of what policing and incarceration has meant for targeted urban communities."

Weaver is the co-author of two books, “Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control,” written with A. Lerman, a large-scale study of how shifts in incarceration and policing affect communities; and “Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America,” written with J. Hochschild and T. Burch.

Her research aims to better understand the causes and consequences of racial inequality in the United States, how state policies and institutions shape political life and identity, and the effects of increasing punishment and surveillance in America on democratic inclusion.

Weaver has served on the Harvard/NIJ Executive Session on Community Corrections, the Center for Community Change’s Good Jobs for All initiative, and the APSA Presidential Task Force on Racial Inequality in the Americas. In 2017, she was an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. She is currently working on a new book based on the Portals Policing Project.  

This event is part of the Wayne Morse Center’s 20th anniversary celebration and its Public Affairs Speaker Series. Learn more at the Morse Center website.