S4J History

The events in Ferguson, MO emerge from a nexus of issues that have long concerned sociologists including implicit bias, institutional racism, police brutality, economic inequities and civil rights. Given the urgent need for informed conversations and movement toward solutions, we seek to highlight the systemic and structural nature of the problems brought to the forefront of national discussion as a result of the killing of Michael Brown and other recent police abuses of power.  By sharing theory, data and our understanding of history and protest movements, we hope to engage audiences beyond the academy in order to facilitate solutions, justice  and equity for people and communities at the margins of society.

The public statement and the curating of resources on this site is a voluntary effort stimulated by a meeting that brought together sociologists attending the 2014 American Sociological Association’s annual conference. Ten sociologists responded to an impromptu call via Twitter to meet at the conference which coincided with the events unfolding in Ferguson. Key contributors to the development and soliciting of signatures for the public statement are listed below.

  • Judy Lubin, PhD, MPH, Public Square Communications  – @judylubin
  • Neda Maghbouleh, PhD, University of Toronto – @nedasoc
  • Rory Kramer, PhD, Villanova – @rory_kramer
  • Marta Maldonado, PhD, Iowa State
  • Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD, Emory University – @tressiemcphd
  • Aaron Roussell, PhD, Washington State University – @curmudeon1y

Several other sociologists also contributed expert knowledge on policing and assisted in shaping our recommendations. We are grateful for their insights and support of this effort.