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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI professor to lead Harlem Book Fair discussion based on his new book, Race in the Age of Obama

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. -- July 22, 2011 -- As the Obama administration works to resolve the issues faced with budget deficit reduction and the pending limit on national debt, URI Professor of Sociology Donald Cunnigen is among an esteemed panel of professors that will present its critique of the administration's early years.

At the Harlem Book Fair a panel will discuss "The Obama Administration's Early Years: A Critique." The professors' discussion is based on a new book co-edited by Cunnigen, Race in the Age of Obama, and features authors of some essays included in the book. Published in 2010 by Emerald Group Publishing, the book offers the first in-depth examination of the impact that this historic election has made on race relations in the United States and the key sociological issues now facing the Obama Administration.

The discussion will be held Saturday, July 23 from 5:20 to 6:35 p.m. at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City and it will be broadcast live on C-SPAN. Find more information at http://www.qbr.com/author-panels-2011.asp.

Moderated by Cunnigen, the panel discussion will consider some critical issues related to the Obama Administration and race relations such as social justice issues and the changing role and impact of an African-American First Family and First Lady.

"In this discussion and in our book, we have taken a critical look at President Obama's administration with an emphasis on understanding the sociological context. When he was elected, it was hailed as an entry into a post-racial society. We have considered this historic election and his administration from all aspects -- education to racial equality to civil rights as well as the Tea Party movement and other conservative anti-Obama groups," said Cunnigen who was selected as co-editor of the Emerald Publishing Group's Race and Ethnic Relations Series based on his award-winning research.

A professor at URI since 1993 and West Kingston resident, Cunnigen specializes in research on race relations, social movements, and social inequality. He is a graduate of Tougaloo College in Mississippi with a double major in sociology-anthropology and Afro-American Studies, he received a master's degree in sociology from the University of New Hampshire and Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University. He is a past president of the Association of Black Sociologists and the Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists.