Work by scholars of color presented in international conference

February 13, 2001

ANN ARBOR—Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR) at the University of Michigan will host its 11th annual graduate student conference Friday and Saturday (Feb. 16-17). “Claiming Space: Activism and Affirmation Through the Work of Students of Color” will be held at the Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Presentations begin each day at 9 a.m. in the West Conference Room.

The conference features two nationally known speakers:

Elaine Kim speaks Friday at 5 p.m. in Rackham Amphitheater. A member of President Clinton’s Commission on Women in U.S. History, Dr. Kim currently is associate dean of the Graduate Division in the College of Letters and Science and professor of Asian American studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Mary Francis Berry delivers the keynote address Saturday (Feb.17) at 5 p.m. One of the University’s most accomplished alumna, she received her doctorate in history and a law degree from the U-M. She is chairwoman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and holds an endowed chair at the University of Pennsylvania.

According to the organizers, the conference has grown each year, reaching its largest scope this year with more than 60 presenters representing more than 20 different universities. Two delegations of scholars from Ghana will join an array of students from around the country. The conference is open and free to all faculty, students, and the general public.

“It is truly impressive to note the evolution of the SCOR conference, from a small affair showcasing the research interests and achievements of Michigan students to a national conference bringing together the next generation of scholars of color. SCOR organizers are to be congratulated for their role in the professional development of students in a wide variety of disciplines,” said Earl Lewis, dean of the Rackham School.

“This conference suggests that our thinking move beyond the mere consideration of who ‘belongs’ in privileged university spaces,” explained Odis Johnson, conference director and doctoral candidate in Education. “Instead of assessing merit by some criteria with little predictive value, this conference invites the community to consider the work of students of color in its many forms, its dynamic nature and its important influence on institutions of higher education. Academics are attending this conference from around the world in defense of affirmative action, to further a progressive and inclusive intellectual movement and to renew the call for scholarly activism.”

Students in the social sciences, humanities, education, and public health fields will present their research on both days of the conference. Students of the fine arts will give presentations of their works on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning will feature poster presentations of research in the health and science fields. Staff from the University’s Career Planning and Placement, Counseling and Psychological Services, Multicultural Teaching and Learning Services as well as University faculty and advanced graduate students will lead interactive workshops scheduled on both days.

The 11th Annual SCOR Conference is presented in collaboration with the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS) and the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Additional support comes from the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI), Student Affairs, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Rackham Student Government (RSG), Department of History, Law School, and the School of Education Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

Further information, including the conference schedule, is available online at

Students of Color of RackhamElaine KimMary Francis BerryEarl LewisCareer Planning and PlacementCenter for Afroamerican and African Studies