Mary Waters Delivers 2016 David Lecture

On May 3, 2016, Mary C. Waters, M.E. Zukerman Professor and former chair of Sociology at Harvard University, delivered the Spring 2016 Henry and Bryna David Lecture at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The David Lecture highlights innovative social and behavioral science research by inviting leading scholars to contribute an article to Issues in Science and Technology and present at the National Academies. Waters’ talk, titled “The War on Crime and The War on Immigrants: New Forms of Legal Exclusion and Discrimination in the U.S.” drew from two major recent Academies reports, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States (2015) and The Integration of Immigrants into American Society (for which Waters chaired the study committee).  Waters used the findings from the reports to draw parallels between undocumented immigrants and ex-felons, both populations whose legal status separates them from the general population and exposes them to certain types of legal discrimination (such as in housing, employment, or education). Waters described some of the lasting negative consequences this type of exclusion can have on the health and achievement of both the affected individuals and on their families. A recording of her lecture is available on the Academies’ website.

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