Harvard University recently hosted the William Julius Wilson Retirement Symposium in honor of the renowned sociologist from September 11-13, 2019. Wilson is one of the foremost scholars on racial and socioeconomic inequality in the United States.
The Russell Sage Foundation welcomed William Julius Wilson (Harvard University) as a Margaret Olivia Sage Scholar in 2017. He previously served on the RSF board from 1988–1998, and as chair from 1993–1996. Wilson is currently the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University and is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Education and the Institute of Medicine. He has served as president of the American Sociological Association, and was a MacArthur Foundation fellow. His books include Power, Racism and Privilege (1973), The Declining Significance of Race (1978), The Truly Disadvantaged (1987), When Work Disappears (1996), The Bridge over the Racial Divide (1999), and More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (2009).
The symposium consisted of lectures, panel discussions, and a keynote address by Cornel West (Harvard University). Several former and current RSF trustees participated in the symposium, including Jennifer Hochschild (Harvard University), Kathryn Edin (Princeton University), Lawrence Katz (Harvard University), and Mary Waters (Harvard University). RSF President Sheldon Danziger presented on a panel on the economy, work, and welfare. Former visiting scholars, RSF grantees, and authors who participated include Elijah Anderson (Yale University), Lawrence Bobo (Harvard University), Raj Chetty (Harvard University), Michael Dawson (University of Chicago), David Ellwood (Harvard University), Phillip Atiba Goff (John Jay College of Criminal Justice), Paul Jargowsky (Rutgers University-Camden), Michèle Lamont (Harvard University), Mary Pattillo (Northwestern University), Robert Sampson (Harvard University), Patrick Sharkey (Princeton University, Theda Skocpol (Harvard University), Sandra Smith (University of California, Berkeley), Margaret Weir (Brown University), Loic Wacquant (University of California, Berkeley), and Bruce Western (Columbia University).