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A dinner in honor of Lewis Walker, WMU’s first African American Ph.D. faculty member, featuring a presentation by William Julius Wilson, a preeminent scholar on race, inequality and urban poverty

The Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations will host a dinner in honor of the man after whom the Institute is named -- WMU’s first African American Ph.D. faculty member, Lewis Walker. Renowned Harvard sociologist, William Julius Wilson Ph.D., author of The Truly Disadvantaged and More than Just Race, will be the featured speaker. Dr. Wilson will discuss the reasons for the persistence of concentrated poverty in many inner city neighborhoods, and his views on a pathway to a better future.

Lewis Walker joined the faculty of the WMU Sociology Department in 1964 and served many years as Department Chair until his retirement in 1999. Dr. Walker grew up in Selma and Birmingham, Alabama, during the Jim Crow era and devoted himself to the study of race, ethnicity and poverty, and the struggle for justice and civil rights. Among the chief beneficiaries of his work were the more than 20,000 WMU students he taught, the city of Kalamazoo and other Michigan communities where he worked to promote justice and understanding.

William Julius Wilson and Lewis Walker became friends and classmates as undergraduate students at Wilberforce University. Dr. Wilson is one of only 20 University Professors at Harvard University, the highest professional distinction for a Harvard faculty member. His current research focuses on the increasing concentration of poverty in many large central cities. Dr. Wilson's bio can be read here.

The Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations, founded in 1988, strives to continue the legacy of Dr. Walker’s work. Proceeds from this event will support the work of the Walker Institute. The event will include a reception and dinner at the Bernhard Center North Ballroom, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on March 15, 2013. A private reception will take place from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. with a cash bar.
Ticket Prices:
  • $20 Students
  • $60 General Admission
  • $75 Includes Private Reception
  • $480 for a Table of 8 attendees
  • $600 for a Table of 8 attendees, including the reception
Please RSVP by Wednesday, March 6, 2013.

For more information, contact Shaghil Husain at (269) 387-2155 or

To make a gift to the Lewis Walker Institute at WMU, please click here.

Date & Location
Date: 3/15/2013
Time: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Location: WMU Bernhard Center - North Ballroom