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Less Separate, Still Unequal: Cities, Suburbs, and the Unfinished Struggle for Racial Justice
Fall 2020 Lecture Series: Race, Social Justice, and Allyship
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Thomas J. Sugrue, professor of social and cultural analysis and history; director of The Cities Collaborative at NYU; and director of the Metropolitan Studies Program, New York University, presents the lecture, "Less Separate, Still Unequal: Cities, Suburbs, and the Unfinished Struggle for Racial Justice," at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom as part of the Rice Architecture Fall 2020 Lecture Series. 
The crises of 2020 have turned an international spotlight on ongoing inequalities in metropolitan America. In this sweeping overview of race and inequality in American cities and suburbs, Sugrue turns attention to the spatial origins of racial inequality, bridging the urban past with our troubled present. He discusses what has changed for the better and what has remained unaddressed over the half century since the urban uprisings and civil rights struggles of the 1960s and how urban activists, policymakers, and planners can chart a direction forward. 
Thomas J. Sugrue is professor of social and cultural analysis and history at NYU where he directs the Metropolitan Studies Program. A leading scholar of race, civil rights, and cities, Sugrue is author of four books and editor of four others. His first book, The Origins of the Urban Crisis won several awards, including the Bancroft Prize in History. Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North is the first comprehensive history of the African American freedom struggle outside the South. Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race examines the first African American president’s relationship to America’s unresolved histories of racial inequality and civil rights. These United States: A Nation in the Making, 1890 to the Present, with Glenda Gilmore, is a sweeping history of modern America that links together the history of grassroots social, cultural, and political movements with national politics. Sugruehas also edited books on neoliberalism and cities, immigration and metropolitan revitalization, and suburban history. Sugrue’s essays regularly appear in major periodicals, including the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, The Nation, Dissent, National Geographic, the Wall Street Journal, and the London Review of Books. In addition to his scholarly work, Sugrue has served as an expert witness in several civil rights and voting rights cases, including the University of Michigan affirmative action cases, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.


Rice Architecture Fall 2020 Lectures are part of an initiative to acknowledge, understand, and act on systemic racism in the built environment. Invited designers, scholars, and activists will speak on the relationship between race, architecture, and, by extension, related questions of social equity, environmental justice, and gender parity. The aim of the lecture series is to foreground these issues in the school’s curriculum while more broadly fostering solidarity and action in architecture.

All lectures are free and open to the public. Please be sure to register online for each lecture to receive the link to join. For more information on all lectures and to register to attend, visit and
This lecture series is made possible through the generous support of the Betty R. and George F. Pierce Jr., FAIA, Fund and the William B. Coleman, Jr. Colloquium Fund for Architecture.
Rice Design Alliance’s Civic Forum is made possible through the generous support of the Humanities Research Center with additional support from the Texas Commission on the Arts. Funding also is provided by RDA Underwriters: Harvey |Harvey-Cleary, Tellepsen, W.S. Bellows Construction Corp., Hines, HKS, Inc., MLN Company, m Strategic Partners, TRIO Electric, and Walker Engineering, Inc. For RDA’s Houston Design Research Grant lunchtime lectures by awardees De Peter Yi (Faculty winner); Anna Fritz, Shree Kale, and Edward Liew (Student winners); and Sebastián López and Lene Sollie (Honorable Mention), please visit The Houston Design Research Grant lunchtime lectures are made possible through the generous support of The Mitsui U.S.A. Foundation.
All Fall 2020 evening lectures are eligible for one AIA/CES Learning Unit. Rice Design Alliance is an AIA/CES Registered Provider of quality educational programs. Watch the lecture, download the pdf, and submit for credit.


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