Fellowships Honor 'Brown v. Board' Legacy

The Fletcher Foundation's 2012-2013 class of fellows will work to improve racial equality and further the goals embodied by the landmark case.

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(The Root) -- The Fletcher Foundation, a private charitable organization created to develop a more just society with more equal opportunities for more of the population, has announced the selection of its 2012-2013 class of Alphonso Fletcher Sr. fellows. The fellowship program itself was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision Brown v. Board of Education.

Each fellow will receive a stipend of $50,000 for work that contributes to improving racial equality in American society, furthers the broad social goals embodied by the case and recognizes the complexity of its implementation.

The Root's editor-in-chief, Henry Louis Gates Jr. -- chair of the fellowship program's selection committee, as well as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard and director of the university's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research -- says that the program is important because it "continues to foster interdisciplinary scholarship and creative work on race relations post-Brown in a way that no other program matches."

Here are this year's fellows:

Jane Dailey, associate professor of history and the law school at the University of Chicago: Her fields of specialization include African-American history, the American South and legal history. Dailey's fellowship project is Sex and Civil Rights, a study that innovatively places issues of interracial sex and marriage at the center of the modern civil rights movement.

Trey Ellis, assistant professor at the School of the Arts at Columbia University: He is a novelist, screenwriter and essayist. His fellowship project is Affirmative, a contemporary play about the family conflict that ensues when the daughter of an African-American scholar of legal history and desegregation refuses to mark her race on college applications even thought it will jeopardize her chances of being accepted.

Rucker Johnson, associate professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley: He was Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation during the 2011-2012 academic year. An economist, Johnson's special field of inquiry is the role of poverty and inequality.

Read more about their work at the Fletcher Foundation.

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