Delores P. Aldridge, Ph.D., a distinguished sociologist from Emory University, will be the guest speaker at the 13th annual Butler A. Jones Endowed Lecture Series and banquet on Thursday, April 10. The event begins at 5 p.m. at the Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave. The dinner and lecture are at 6 p.m.
Aldridge’s lecture is titled “Survival of the Black Family: Male-Female Relationships.” The annual lecture addresses a topic on contemporary American race relations and honors the late Cleveland State professor emeritus Butler Jones, Ph.D., for his many contributions to the causes of civil rights and social justice. Dr. Jones was a nationally-renowned authority on race relations and former chairman of Cleveland State's Sociology Department from 1969-1975.
The event is expected to draw community leaders, faculty, and students who will pay tribute to Dr. Jones, the man whose civil rights work in the schools and the courts had a direct and powerful impact on the lives of thousands of African Americans during one of the most turbulent times in the history of U.S. race relations.
Aldridge is the Grace Towns Hamilton Distinguished Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Emory University. She is also an Associate Director in the School of Medicine for the Program in Women’s Health Services Research.
She is author, coauthor, or editor of more than 160 research monographs, articles, and books, including the recent works Africana Studies: Philosophical Perspectives and Theoretical Paradigms (2007); Our Last Hope: Black Male-Female Relationships in a Changing World (2007) and Black Female Sociologists (forthcoming).
In addition to numerous national scholarly awards, Aldridge has received six teaching and service excellence awards from Emory, including the Great Teachers of the Century Award and its premier Thomas Jefferson award. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Kappa Mu, she received her Ph.D. at Purdue University.
The B.A. Jones Honorary Committee has been working for 13 years to build an annual lecture series to commemorate An American Dilemma, the Nobel Prize-winning work on race relations for which Dr. Jones provided important research. Each year, the lectureship revisits this historic work and relates it to what is happening in American race relations today. An annual student scholarship is also awarded in honor of Dr. Jones, who passed away on May 9, 2003.
The April 10 banquet is sponsored by the Cleveland State Department of Sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and The B.A. Jones Honorary Committee. The Committee co-chairs are Gloria Joy Battisti, former chair of the Cleveland State University Board of Trustees; Mark Freeman; the Hon. Nathaniel R. Jones; Steven A. Minter, former executive director and president of The Cleveland Foundation; Dr. Deborah Morin, executive director, First Ring Leadership Academy; and Michael Schwartz, president, Cleveland State University.
Tickets for the banquet and lecture are $50 and $100. The reception begins at 5:00 p.m., followed by dinner and the lecture at 6:00 p.m.
Contributions for the endowment fund may be sent to the Department of Sociology, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Ave., RT 1721, Cleveland, OH 44115 (Please make checks payable to The B.A. Jones Fund, Cleveland State University Foundation.)
For more information and to make reservations, please call Phyllis Clark, Cleveland State Department of Sociology, at 216.687.4500.
Butler Jones, Ph.D.
Dr. Jones was one of a core group of young Southern black scholars who contributed background research for Gunnar Myrdal’s classic study on race relations, An American Dilemma, published in 1944.
Growing up in Dothan, Alabama, Dr. Jones attended Southeast Alabama High School, a parent-supported private school made necessary by the failure of local public schools to provide education for African Americans beyond the sixth grade.
He graduated from Morehouse College in 1937, earned his master's degree from Atlanta University, and received his doctorate from New York University. He assumed his first academic position at Talladega College.
Well known in the South for his work on civil rights and desegregation issues, Dr. Jones worked for the NAACP on many Southern school cases before the historic 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision outlawing segregated schools. He was one of 100 scholars asked to prepare memos supporting the NAACP in the case.
He later served as sociology chairman at Ohio Wesleyan University, and visiting professor of sociology at Oberlin College and New York University. He joined Cleveland State in 1969, retiring in 1982 as professor emeritus.
Throughout his long career, Dr. Jones’ research focused on the impact of legislation and judicial decisions on race relations. In 1975, he became the W.E.B. DuBois Visiting Professor of Sociology at Tuskegee Institute, and was a close personal friend of the famous DuBois. His work during that time with the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery provided historic analyses on the behavior of state judges in the treatment of African Americans.
At Cleveland State, Dr. Jones championed women's rights and played an active role in academic governance. He held many advisory and committee positions for the Cleveland Music School Settlement, Cleveland Pubic Library, Federation for Community Planning, Legal Aid Society and Ohio Chamber Orchestra. He was a charter member of the Black History Archives Committee for the Western Reserve Historical Society.
Dr. Jones passed away on May 9, 2003.
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