Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, has announced the establishment of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy. The new center, which will be housed in the department of political science, aims to foster research, dialogue and analysis regarding the ways in which democracy, diversity and politics interact in the United States and in nations around the globe. The center will focus on best practices in promoting equal citizenship and how governments, nonprofits and corporations can work to close the socioeconomic inequalities between identity-based groups in diverse democracies.
The center will sponsor two annual events. The first, the Strengthening Diverse Democracies Symposium, will bring together scholars in October to discuss a current issue in the politics of diversity within democracies. They also will work with the Center for Global Culture and Communication in Northwestern’s School of Communication to sponsor the annual Globalizing Race Studies Workshop. There, themes related to the global dimension of racial politics, such as immigration or racial inequalities, will be examined. The new center will also mount a polling operation to garner public opinion on key issues relating to diversity in a democratic society.
The center will be led by Alvin Tillery, associate professor of political science in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern. Dr. Tillery notes that “despite increased progress in our democracy and President Obama being a harbinger of brighter days ahead, there is still plenty more to work through, especially as our nation moves toward becoming a majority-minority population in 2050. We felt Northwestern could be a hub where people could have serious conversations about these issues and pursue answers.”
Dr. Tillery is the author of Between Homeland and Motherland: Africa, U.S. Foreign Policy, and Black Leadership in American (Cornell University Press, 2011). He is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta and holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University.