"Will Race Always Matter?"

On September 22, 2020, Dr. Larry E. Davis – Dean Emeritus of the School of Social Work, Founding Director of the Center on Race and Social Problems, and Donald M. Henderson Professor Emeritus – delivered the 50th anniversary lecture in the University of Pittsburgh’s American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series.  His presentation, “Will Race Always Matter,” was thought-provoking and very well received. 

As a special form of remembrance, in light of Dr. Davis’ recent passing, the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law & Public Policy is again calling attention to what proved to be Dr. Davis’ last lecture.  Larry Davis passed away on March 30, 2021.

The American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series

"Will Race Always Matter?"


During his seventeen years of exceptional service as Dean, the School of Social Work moved into the top ten in national rankings of schools of social work.  While Dean, Dr. Davis became the Founding Director of Pitt’s Center on Race and Social Problems, the first such center in any American school of social work.  He also founded the journal Race and Social Problems and was the inaugural Donald M. Henderson Professor.

Dr. Davis is a widely acclaimed author and speaker, who has addressed audiences throughout the country. In his most recent book, Why Are They Angry With Us?  Essays on Race, he says, “Race is what I always have thought most about. In fact, I have been thinking about race as long as I can remember thinking about anything.”

Dr. Davis earned his Ph.D. in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Michigan.  He was recruited to Pitt from Washington University in St. Louis, where he held the E. Desmond Lee Professorship.  Among many other honors, he is the only person in history to have received lifetime achievement awards from both the Council on Social Work Education and the Society for Social Work and Research.

Sponsored by The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy and the University Honors College.  Co-sponsored by the Institute of Politics, the School of Social Work, and the Center on Race and Social Problems.

Closed captioning is available as an option on your screen.