ULRPI: 2002-2004


The Undergraduate Lecture Series on Race, Poverty, and Inequality

Formed as a one-time debate by two students in 2002, the Undergraduate Lecture Series on Race, Poverty, and Inequality (ULRPI) expanded to become a full-fledged lecture series bringing topics to Northwestern’s campus each quarter. The Lecture Series was designed to introduce undergraduates to a range of topics relating to inequality by inviting prominent scholars and leaders from across the country to join Northwestern faculty and local activists in a conversation about the role of social science and policy-oriented research and activism in addressing the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots. In past series, ULRPI addressed the issues of welfare reform, public housing, affirmative action, immigration, the many dimensions of race, political inequality, and the No Child Left Behind Act.

Below is a summary of the topics covered from ULRPI’s beginnings in 2002 through 2004.


The Changing Face of Public Housing Held during the week of February 10, 2002, “The Changing Face of Public Housing” featured a keynote address by Dr. Susan Popkin, panels of professors, activists and residents discussing the changing nature of public housing in Chicago, and a neighborhood tour of areas in Chicago that were undergoing redevelopment efforts.

Welfare to Work Held on November 13th, 2002, this lecture series consisted of a debate between Ron Haskin, then White House Senior Advisor for Welfare Policy, and Wendell Primus, the Director of Income Security for Center on Budget Policy and Priorities. This event include a panel of Dr. Kathryn Edin, Dr. Greg Duncan, and Dr. Dan Lewis



Affirmative Action Spurred by the then pending Supreme Court decision on the admissions policies of the University of Michigan, this series brought both Michigan student activist together with prominent scholars on the issue. The keynote address included Marvin Krislov, Vice President and General Council for the University of Michigan, Dr. Henry S. Bienen, President of Northwestern University, and Dr. Eugene Y. Lowe Jr.

Political Inequality Providing a comprehensive view of political inequality, this series included panels on felon disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, and political organizing. Held during the first week of November 2003, Dr. Kay Schlozman delivered the keynote address on What do we want? Political Equality! When are we gonna get it? Never.

Immigration Policy, Rights, and the Law Including both panels of scholars and activist, this series addressed the various issues of immigration in America. This series was held during the week of May 17th, 2003. Mirna Adjami of the Midwest Immigrant and Human Rights Center and Christopher Whitney of the Chicago Council of Foreign Relations delivered the keynote address.



The Many Dimensions of Race Held during the week of February 23rd, 2004, this series addressed the many dimensions of race in American culture, literature, economics, and public policy. Dr. Kenneth W. Warren delivered the keynote address on “Literature, Culture, and Inequality: A Problem for the 21st Century.”

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No Child Left Behind Providing a comprehensive view of changes to the American public education system, this series brought together teachers, professors, and national scholars to Northwestern during the fall of 2004. The panel events were held in October, and the keynote address by Dr. Pedro Noguera was held in April along with Jonathan Kozol.

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