Alphonse Fletcher Jr. í87, chairman and CEO of Fletcher Asset Management Inc., recently announced the selection of the 2007 class of Alphonse Fletcher Sr. Fellows, which includes Harvard Law School Professor Kenneth Mack. Created in 2004 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Courtís landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education, the fellowship program will award each of the five Fletcher Fellows a stipend of $50,000 for work that contributes to improving race relations in American society.
Regarding the third class of fellows, Fletcher said, ìOur focus this year was on emerging and midcareer scholars and writers. Working in the fields of art, literature, history, law, and education, this distinguished group, like the two before it, is approaching both the historical and modern-day challenges of integration and race relations in ways that are innovative and provocative.î
Mack received the fellowship for his project, ìRepresenting the Race: The Transformation of Civil Rights Lawyering and Politics, 1920-1955.î The study looks at the changes in the profession and practice of Civil Rights law in the three decades leading up to the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision.
The other fellows include Hilton Als, New Yorker staff writer; Cheryl Finley, assistant professor of the history of art, Cornell University; Joy James, the John B. and John T. McCoy Presidential Professor of Africana Studies and College Professor in Political Science, Williams College; and Charles M. Payne, professor in the School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago.
The Selection Committee was chaired by Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor at Harvard, and includes K. Anthony Appiah, Laurance Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University; James P. Comer, Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicineís Child Study Center, director of the School Development Program, and associate dean for Student Affairs, School of Medicine; Thelma Golden, director and chief curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem; and Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania. The committee selected the five Fletcher Fellows from the 70 applications submitted.
ìOur new fellows are taking a hard look at the real-world events around the time of Brown v. Board, in the arts world and the social world of law and politics, that gave rise to the Civil Rights movement,î Gates said, adding, ìand also at the long-term effects of those events on educational theory and practice, which were at the heart of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision.î
With the fellowship program now in its third year, Fletcher is excited about the many varieties of scholarship and creative work funded thus far. ìThe work of the five new fellows is highly independent and specific to their own fields of study,î he said, adding, ìHowever, it is also inextricably connected with the work of the previous classes of fellows by its dedication to promoting the goals and legacy of Brown v. Board.î
For more information about the program, visit the Fletcher Foundation Web site athttp://www.fletcherphilanthropy.org.