Multiracial in the Workplace: A New Kind of Discrimination?

Posted in Census/Demographics, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2016-01-25 22:51Z by Steven

Multiracial in the Workplace: A New Kind of Discrimination?

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC Fall 2015 Speaker Series presents: “Multiracial in the Workplace: A New Kind of Discrimination?”
University of Pittsburgh

Tanya Hernandez, Professor of Law
Fordham University

Welcome by:

Larry Davis, Dean, Donald M. Henderson Professor, and Director
Center for Race and Social Problems, University of Pittsburgh

Introduction by:

Jeffrey Shook, Associate Professor
School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh

Watch the video (01:02:59) here.

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Race in America: Restructuring Inequality: Intergroup Race Relation

Posted in Barack Obama, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Reports, Social Science, United States on 2011-08-20 00:20Z by Steven

Race in America: Restructuring Inequality: Intergroup Race Relation

Center on Race & Social Problems
School of Social Work
The University of Pittsburgh
29 pages


Larry E. Davis, Dean and Donald M. Henderson Professor of Social Work and Director of the Center on Race and Social Problems
University of Pittsburgh

Ralph Bangs, Associate Director
Center on Race and Social Problems
University of Pittsburgh

The Third of Seven Reports on the Race in America Conference (June 3-6, 2010)

Despite significant progress in America’s stride toward racial equality, there remains much to be done. Some problems are worse today than they were during the turbulent times of the 1960s. Indeed, racial disparities across a number of areas are blatant—family formation, employment levels, community violence, incarceration rates, educational attainment, and health and mental health outcomes.

As part of an attempt to redress these race-related problems, the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and Center on Race and Social Problems organized the conference Race in America: Restructuring Inequality, which was held at the University of Pittsburgh June 3–6, 2010. The goal of the conference was to promote greater racial equality for all Americans. As our entire society has struggled to recover from a major economic crisis, we believed it was an ideal time to restructure existing systems rather than merely rebuilding them as they once were. Our present crisis afforded us the opportunity to start anew to produce a society that promotes greater equality of life outcomes for all of its citizens.

The conference had two parts: 20 daytime sessions for registered attendees and three free public evening events. The daytime conference sessions had seven foci: economics, education, criminal justice, race relations, health, mental health, and families/youth/elderly. Each session consisted of a 45-minute presentation by two national experts followed by one hour of questions and comments by the audience. The evening events consisted of an opening lecture by Julian Bond, a lecture on economics by Julianne Malveaux, and a panel discussion on postracial America hosted by Alex Castellanos of CNN.

This report provides access to the extensive and detailed information disseminated during the intergroup race relations sessions at the conference. This information will be particularly helpful to community and policy leaders interested in gaining a better understanding of race relations and finding effective strategies for improving these conditions.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • In the Mix: Multiracial Demographics and Social Definitions of Race
  • Coming Together: Promoting Harmony among Racial Groups
    • Obama and the Durable Racialization of American Politics Lawrence D. Bobo
    • Somewhere Over the Rainbow?: Postracial and Panracial Politics in the Age of Obama Taeku Lee
  • The White Way?: Discussing Racial Privilege and White Advantage
    • Where and Why Whites Still Do Blatant Racism: White Racist Actions and Framing in the Backstage and Frontstage Joe Feagin
    • The Future of White Privilege in Post-Race, Post-Civil Rights, Colorblind America Charles Gallagher

Race: Changing Composition, Changing Definition

Presenter: Howard Hogan, Associate Director for Demographic Programs, U.S. Census Bureau

Moderator: Pat Chew, Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh

America’s categorization of race is more of a definition of how America chooses to see individuals and less the result of how people categorize themselves. Our concept of race in the United States has evolved over the country’s history. In America’s first census in 1790, the country viewed itself racially as comprising only three groups: Whites, slaves, and others. American Indians were not identified as a distinct group for this census. As immigration increased, our racial composition changed rapidly, and it was for this reason that in 1850 and 1860, the United States felt that it was necessary to gather information on the birthplaces of individuals. The term “Black” was first used as a census race category in the census of 1850, and the term “Negro” did not appear as a census race category until 1930…

…The concept of race and identification of racial origin continue to serve a role in the United States with regard to monitoring and enforcing civil rights legislation for employment, educational opportunities, and housing. It was for this reason the U.S. Supreme Court, in the 1980s, declared Judaism to be a race for purposes of antidiscrimination. Data on race also are used to study changes in the social, economic, and demographic characteristics and changes in our population. But there is no reason to assume that it will get easier for OMB and the U.S. Census Bureau to make the kind of distinctions they need to be able to collect this information…

Obama and the Durable Racialization of American Politics

Presenter: Lawrence D. Bobo, W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University

Moderator: Lu-in Wang, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh

There are some in American society who are unable to assess issues of racial discord because they accept the concept that the United States has become a postracial nation. There are others who consider postracialism to be a politically neutralizing falsehood that veils how the racial divide is constructed and maintained in American society. The prevalence of racial dissonance has waned over time in comparison to the racial conflicts America faced in the past. However, in order for this recuperation to continue, American society has to be forthright about current race relations conditions and open to developing new ways to improve relations in the future. The United States has adopted a new contemporary form of racism, because the blatant Jim Crow discrimination of years past is not as socially acceptable. The characteristics of this contemporary form, called laissez-faire racism, are the widespread and consequential harboring of negative stereotypes and the collective racial resentment of African Americans. Laissez-faire racism is very prevalent in today’s society despite the belief by many that the United States has transitioned into postracialism, spearheaded by Barack Obama’s presidential election. However, the majority of White voters chose not to vote for Barack Obama for president. An overwhelming majority of minority voters chose to vote for him.

There are several reasons why America has not reached the point where the color line between Blacks and Whites has become blurred beyond recognition. First, only 14.6 percent of U.S. marriages in 2008 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity, and only 11 percent of these mixed marriages were White-Black. Second, only 7 million (2 percent) of the U.S. population in 2000 marked more than one race on the census. One-quarter of these were Black. Third, Black-White wealth gaps have grown, even among educated Blacks.

In order to relieve some of the racial discord in society, progressive dialogue on the current realities of race relations in the United States is needed, as well as structural and cultural change…

…The anti-Black cultural project of “erasing Blackness” has not destabilized the core racial binary. Although many believe that miscegenation—the mixing of races through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation—an overwhelming majority of Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians still marry within their racial group.


Many Americans buy into the notion that miscegenation is causing the end of the Black and White races and that eventually the color line between Whites and Blacks will become blurred beyond recognition. The data show:

  • African Americans are the least likely of all races to marry Whites.
  • Although the pace of interracial marriage increased more rapidly in the 1990s than it did in other periods, the social boundaries between Blacks and Whites remained highly rigid and resistant to change.
  • Although interracial marriages have increased greatly in recent years, they still only account for 15 percent of marriages in the U.S.
  • Only 7 million Americans (2 percent) identified more than one race when given the option to do so on the 2000 Census. Of those 7 million, one-quarter identified having any mixture with African Americans.
  • Biracial African American-White individuals have historically identified themselves as Black and typically married other African

Read the entire report here.

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The New Ingredient in the Identity of Black Biracial Children

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2010-04-18 03:30Z by Steven

The New Ingredient in the Identity of Black Biracial Children

The Chicago Tribune
December 1996

Larry E. Davis, Dean and Donald M. Henderson Professor of Social Work and Director of the Center on Race and Social Problems
University of Pittsburgh

[Republished in the Race and Social Problems: Interview with Dean Larry E. Davis post of the Social Work Podcast]
Some parents of black biracial children are being unrealistic. It is a mistake to promote a biracial identity for children born to black and non-black parents. African Americans are a multiracial people. It is estimated that well over 70 percent of African Americans have white ancestry, while others have ancestors who are Native American, Hispanic and Asian. Virtually all African Americans can identify some relative who is “mixed with something.”

So what is new in the identity of today’s children born to black and non-black parents? Only the identities of non-black parents. For the first time in this country, large numbers of non-black parents wish to be identified as the parents of a child by a black person. Historically, the parents of children born to black and non-black unions have been severely castigated, which largely explains their traditional invisibility. It is understandable that parents want to share in their children’s racial identities…

Read the entire op-ed here.

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Race and Social Problems: Interview with Dean Larry E. Davis

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, Social Work, United States on 2010-04-17 21:52Z by Steven

Race and Social Problems: Interview with Dean Larry E. Davis

The Social Work Podcast

Jonathan B. Singer, Assistant Professor of Social Work
Temple Univerisity

Interview with
Larry E. Davis, Dean and Donald M. Henderson Professor of Social Work and Director of the Center on Race and Social Problems
University of Pittsburgh
[Episode 36] Today’s podcast is on Race and Social Problems. On January 15, 2008, I spoke with Dr. Larry E. Davis, Dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, the Donald M. Henderson Professor, and Director of the Center on Race and Social Problems. In our conversation, Dean Davis defined racism, the role of race in understanding social problems, and about how issues of race may or may not change as the percentage of whites in the United States continues to decrease discussed. We talked about some of the racial and gender issues in the current election and talked about how race is different from gender as a point of diversity. We also talked about race and social work, and what social workers can do to fight racism. We ended our conversation with a discussion of the Center on Race and Social Problems and what the Center is doing to fight racism.

  1. Beginning of the interview and definition of Race and Social Problems: [01:58]
  2. “The major definition of race has been color” [02:31]
  3. Mulattos and Octaroons [3:30]
  4. The New Ingredient in the Identity of Black Biracial Children [4:49]
  5. “African Americans are a multi-racial people.” [5:13]
  6. “America may have biracial children, but there are no biracial adults.” [5:37]
  7. What makes race a social problem? [9:36]
  8. How will issues of race change now that Hispanics are the majority minority group? [11:06]
  9. There is less than a percentage point difference between the number of African American and Hispanics in the United States according to the 2000 Census [11:59]  (Note: In the 2000 US Census, 75.1% of Americans identified as White. 12.5% identified as Hispanic or Latino. 12.3% identified as Black or African American.)
  10. Why should social workers be concerned about race? [15:00]
  11. How can race be a more defining issue for America than gender? [18:19]
  12. Will people vote with their racial or gender identities in the presidential election? [21:47]
  13. Is it detrimental to the Democrats to have two traditionally oppressed groups represented in the front-runners? [24:10]
  14. Dean Davis defines and discusses his concept “Psychological Majority” [26:43]
  15. What can social workers do to fight racism? [31:25]
  16. Should other schools of social work have a center on race and social problems? [36:29]
  17. Center on Race and Social Problems lecture series [38:26]

Listen to the podcast here (Due to large file size, right-click and save to your computer).  Running Time: 00:45:17.

Singer, J. B. (Host). (2008, March 24). Race and social problems: Interview with Dean Larry E. Davis [Episode 36]. Social Work Podcast. Podcast retrieved April 17, 2010, from

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