Public conversation about race and racial reconciliation on Jan. 22

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Racial reconciliation and the future of race in America will be the subject of a public conversation with scholars Alondra Nelson and Herman Gray on Wednesday, January 22, at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center.

The public is invited to attend the event, which begins at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). Tickets are available online; admission is $10 for the general public and free for students.

The event will feature a conversation with Nelson and Gray, moderated by Jenny Reardon, professor of sociology at UC Santa Cruz. Nelson is the president of the Social Science Research Council and an acclaimed author whose research focuses on questions of science, technology, and social inequality. Her books include, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination and The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome. Gray is a professor emeritus of sociology at UCSC who has written extensively about black cultural theory, politics, and media.

“Alondra is critically addressing some of the most troubling and urgent questions of our time,” said Gray. “She brings rich insights, a critical perspective, and a wealth of information to the table. It’s an honor to be in conversation with her.”

Reardon, a professor of sociology and the director of the Science & Justice Research Center at UCSC, has written two books about genomics and has been a vocal participant in conversations at the intersection of race, science, and politics.

“These are challenging times, with racist incidents and hate crimes on the rise across the country,” said Katharyne Mitchell, dean of the Division of Social Sciences at UCSC. “I look forward to hearing these three great scholars share their insights and help us make sense of the current moment—and help us think collectively about how to shape a more racially just future.”

The evening is being co-presented by the Institute for Social Transformation and the Science & Justice Research Center with sponsorship from Inner Light Ministries and the Santa Cruz chapters of the NAACP and the ACLU.