john a. powell
Professor john a. powell is an internationally recognized authority in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties and a wide range of issues including race, structural racism, ethnicity, housing, poverty and democracy. He is Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University and he holds the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties at the University’s Michael E. Moritz College of Law.
Professor powell has written extensively on a number of issues including structural racism, racial justice and regionalism, concentrated poverty and urban sprawl, opportunity based housing, voting rights, affirmative action in the United States, South Africa and Brazil, racial and ethnic identity, spirituality and social justice, and the needs of citizens in a democratic society.
Under his leadership, The Kirwan Institute has taken a number of projects that engage the question of how most effectively to address issues of race justice. Some of the Institute’s work specifically examines how people talk about race and how such conversations impact their behavior. In the Diversity Advancement Project, the Institute is collaborating with the Center for Social Inclusion to develop strategies to increase public support for racial, ethnic and gender diversity in our public and private institutions. The project on Democratic Merit aims to push colleges and universities toward greater investment in those communities and students whose success is needed to enhance the health and strength of our multiracial democracy. And in the Institute’s projects on African American-Immigrant coalition building, they work to understand the conditions and contexts that facilitate constructive, institutionalized relationships across lines of race and nativity, and those that tend to undermine or preclude such relationships.