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January 18, 1994 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-18

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday,_January 18, 1994 - 7
.Speeches highlight MLK Day observance at '

Economists study racial issues

By ROBIN BARRY
FOR THE DAILY
In the spirit of Martin Luther King
Jr., some University researchers are
showing their commitment to social
and racial issues.
Members of the economics de-
partment and of the Population Stud-
ies Center discussed their work in a
brief presentation yesterday.
Economist Sheldon Danzinger, a
faculty associate at the Population
Studies Center, said he thinks re-
searchers should lean toward more
applicable projects.
"Grad training in the social sci-
ences has moved away from studying
complex real world problems toward
elegant technical problems that might

not have real world implications," he
said.
He suggested ethnicity as an im-
portant issue, asking, "If race matters
so much (in our society) why don't
more economists study it?"
Rackham Associate Dean Warren
Whatley, a professor of economics in
the Center for Afro-American and
African Studies, discussed the eco-
nomic effects of racism.
"I can't think of a more pertinent
issue than racial antagonism,"
Whatley said.
Margaret Levenstein, an associate
professor in the economics depart-
ment and coordinator of the event,
explained that because mostly gradu-
ate students and faculty of the two

departments involved attended the
discussion, she had asked the speak-
ers to keep the audience in mind.
Whatley said he was pleased with
the event. "It brought a large number
of people together to commemorate
Martin Luther King's achievement
inside economics," he said.
Sharon Pedersen, an urban plan-
ning alum, said she thought more pan-
elists of color would have benefited
the program. She added, however,
that the event was informative.
"It got people talking about prac-
tical, real life issues."
Nancy Beale, a student of public
policy studies who works in the Popu-
lation Studies Center, praised the
event.
"The program featured many well-
known and respected speakers, it was
definitely beneficial," Beale said.

Professor's speech focuses on the Golden Rule

By ELIZABETH McHENRY
FOR THE DAILY
More than 500 students and fac-
ulty gathered yesterday at the Natural
Science Auditorium to hear Laurence
Thomas' speech on "Studies in Reli-
gion."
He spoke about his ideas on evil in
society, adding that his theory stems
from the "lack of basic trust" in the
90s. Basic trust is an assumption of
others that they will not harm us for
purposes of personal gain, he said.
Thomas, a Black Jew, is a profes-
sor of philosophy and political sci-
ence at Syracuse University, where
he is also a member of the Judaic
Studies Program.
Thomas said he believes Martin

Luther King Jr. wanted "nothing other
than a society of basic trust where
people wouldn't be judged on the
basis of skin color, and the such."
A main focus of his speech was
the Golden Rule: Do unto others as
you would have them do unto you.
Thomas said over the last 35 years, he
has noticed a "slide" of our society
into "evil." Under the Golden Rule,
Thomas explained, people are moti-
vated to do good and there is moral
kindness.
He added that the rule is universal
and is manifested in self-interested
kindness.
Thomas said people need a basis
of self-love in order to attain basic
trust. He explained a parallel struc-

ture of a child who is abused and who
therefore goes through life expecting
and trying to avoid harm, and be-
tween an adult who is constantly aware
of the possibility of being harmed.
Thomas said, "We become preoc-
cupied with others harming us when
we have no basic trust," such as a
child who becomes distracted with
harm because of living without pa-
rental love. These parallels are "not
conducive to the Golden Rule being
operative."
Thomas's speech seemed to draw
a favorable response from the audi-
ence, which largely included students
of Prof. Ralph Williams' class "The
Theory and Practice of Evil in the
20th and 21st Centuries."

College Board president visits the University

-

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By PATRICIA MONTGOMERY
FOR THE DAILY
Standardized tests are biased, the
president of the College Board told
University students yesterday.
Donald Stewart, the first Black
man tonhead that organization, deliv-
ered a lecture titled "The Roles of
Standards and Assessment in Pro-
moting Excellence and Equity" at the
School of Education's Schorling Au-
ditorium yesterday.
Stewart discussed many aspects
of standardized testing, addressing
the meaning of test scores, and citing
how they can be used to promote
excellence.
He said the College Board needs
to "put heaviest weight on the oppor-

tunity of learning and finding better
ways to close the race relation gap."
Stewart's credentials speak for
themselves. After teaching at the
University of Pennsylvania for sev-
eral years, he served as president of
Spelman College. He has also worked
on several assignments overseas with
the Ford Foundation. In addition, he
is a trustee of the Martin Luther King
Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social
Change and a policy scholar.
"Donald Stewart is a highly re-
spected individual," said Roger
Doster, an assistant director of finan-
cial aid at the University.
Doster said he believes that the
College Board's Scholarship Service
has had tremendous influence over

student financial aid formulas during
the past several years.
About 45 people were present fot
Stewart's lecture.
"The speech was compelling, well
organized, thoughtful and intellectu-
ally comprehensive," said Greg,
Cascione, a graduate student in higher
education at the University.
"Donald Stewart building on Mar-
tin Luther King's belief in terms of
equity, freedom and democracy," she
said. "That is one thing that has been
missing in prior MLK activities."
Arie Nettles, assistant professor
of School of Education, said she en-
joyed Stewart's speech. "I think he is
very reality focused. He kept things in
perspective."

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Sharon McPhail, others discuss social justice

By MPATANISHI TAYARI
FOR THE DAILY
Even if you lose the race for mayor,
you can still make an impact on the
administration of social justice.
The issue of social justice and its
effect on the University community
was addressed yesterday as part of a
University-sponsored panel discus-
sion. The program included four pan-
elists and was led by Gail Nomura, a
history lecturer in the Residential
College.
Other speakers for this program
included James Chaffers, a professor
of Architecture and program chair at
the University; Rick Olguin, aprofesor
of social sciences at North Seattle
Community College; and Sharon
McPhail, chief of Screening and Dis-
trict Courts in the Wayne County
Prosecutor's Office and former De-
troit mayoral candidate.
The program format began with
statements made by each of the panel-
ists and was followed by a question-
and-answer period in which the audi-
ence was given the opportunity to
interact with Nomura, Chaffers,
Olgiuin, and McPhail.

Some important points were made
when panelists and audience mem-
bers acknowledged unconscious rac-
ism and how the they felt it played a
part in our judicial system.
McPhail went on to point out spe-
cific incidents that she attributed to
selfishness and racism. She also cited
statistics that showed people of color
received longer sentences for the same
crimes committed by whites.
Gail Nomura picked up on this by
speaking on the Asian American ex-
perience and noting that Hawaiians

are currently fighting against cultural
repression and racism in their call for
sovereignty from the United States.
In addition to the socially con-
scious points made by Nomura and
McPhail, James Chaffers focused on
the wider spectrum of social justice.
He calls it "just plain justice."
Rick Olguin included in his open-
ing speech his belief that everything
that has happened in the past decade
is not negative. There were "positive
changes as a result of ... social justice
movements."

.................

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S1

MORTAR BOARD
National Senior Honor Society
Since 1918
Dedicated to scholarship,
leadership & service.
Interested Juniors can
pick up information sheet at
CIC desk, North Campus Information
Desk or Room 4115 Michigan Union.
Information sheet due January 28, 1994
??Questions call Leah at 764-0078

Waant to cfve tours of campus?

Ga~n wha~t your parents wiUL do cturiwnj

Parents Wekend?

.__

Earn credit in the community

?le"t and~ work wfh promninent
atumnO~

SOCIOLOGY 389 EDUCATION 317 044
2-4 CREDITS
Community Service Learning

sections include:
tutoring
chemical dependency

tudent rA1utnni, ouncfLG

Proi ct

I.

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