New Morse Chair to speak on public education and democracy

Amy Stuart Wells

Amy Stuart Wells, a national expert on race and education, begins an appointment as this year’s Wayne Morse Chair with a public lecture Tuesday, Oct. 18.

Stuart Wells, a professor of sociology and education at Columbia University, will discuss “Our Children’s Burden: How Public Education Helps Sustain a Diverse Democracy” at 7 p.m. in Room 175, Knight Law Center.

In addition to her public lecture, Wells, who serves as coordinator of policy studies at Columbia University’s Teachers College, is co-teaching a class in the UO College of Education and participating in panel discussions there and at the School of Law.

“Amy Stuart Wells' visit comes at a particularly critical moment in the university's conversation about racial equity and Oregon's efforts to find a stable funding source for public education,” said Wayne Morse Center co-director Ellen Herman. “Her long record of significant research about the consequences of segregation, integration and resegregation in our schools can inform the decisions we make on campus and in the state about diversity, inclusion and the future of schools as fundamental building blocks of democracy.”

Stuart Wells was chosen as Wayne Morse Chair in conjunction with the Wayne Morse Center’s 2015-17 theme “The Future of Public Education.” Her writing focuses on issues of race and education, specifically educational policies such as school desegregation, school choice, charter schools, and tracking and how they affect opportunities for students of color.

Her books include “Both Sides Now: The Story of School Desegregation’s Graduates” and “Stepping Over the Color Line: African American Students in White Suburban Schools.”

For more information, visit and watch the UO Today interview with Amy Stuart Wells.