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Department of Sociology
Center on Diversity and Inequality Research

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East Carolina University
for Diversity and Inequality Research

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The state of North Carolina and, more specifically, the counties directly served by East Carolina University, are remarkably rich historical and cultural regions marked by diverse and growing populations.  The Center for Diversity and Inequality Research is a commitment by ECU recognizing that racial diversity, concerns between different classes of individuals, and gender issues are at the foundation of a comprehensive understanding of these expanding populations.


The Center for Diversity and Inequality Research takes as its first goal the academic study of social diversity.  The Center will be a collaborative, multidisciplinary project of faculty and students housed in the Department of Sociology at ECU.


The ECU Department of Sociology already trains its undergraduate and Masters students in the concentrations of Marriage and Family, Law and Society, Applied Social Research, and Social Diversity.  The Center will augment these existing commitments by providing a scholarly atmosphere and culture which supports academic research in the complexities of all aspects of social diversity including race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, and disability status.  At the same time, research will also be directed at the ways in which laws and the legislative process embody societal values and attitudes and also impact individual, group, and institutional perspectives.


Through academic research and the formulation of public policy based upon this empirically based research, the Center will, as its second goal, promote and support social diversity by educating the public about relevant issues and concerns.  The Center in accomplishing this goal will thus advance a better understanding and more effect relationships between and among the unique and valued stakeholders in our constituency.


To this end the Center for Diversity and Inequality Research will focus its academic research and policy formulation upon issues premised upon social injustice, discrimination, and social inequality.  It will publish academic research which provides critical analysis of issues of social diversity in all its varied forms, social myths, and social constructs.  Finally, it will seek to develop relevant public policy that increases public understanding, reduces discrimination and social conflict, and promotes the general welfare and education of all North Carolinians.


To accomplish these two major goals, the Center for Diversity and Inequality Research will be provided vision and leadership by a Director, a tenured Associate or Full Professor of Sociology with a national reputation who may be chosen from within the Department of Sociology or through an external search.  The Center will be housed in adequate and functional space conducive to a professional center and provided necessary computers, furniture, and other equipment.  It will be staffed by a full-time administrative assistant. It will receive funds to operate the Center including copying costs, telephone, office equipment, and other office expenses.


The J. Woolard and Helen Peel Distinguished Professorship in Social Diversity will be an integral part of the Center for Diversity and Inequality Research.  The individual holding this Professorship will be a major contributor to the research and public education provided by the Center for Diversity and Inequality Research.  He/she will in all ways work with and facilitate, along with the Director, the missions of this center.