Emory University’s James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference (JWJI) has appointed Emory sociology professor Tyrone Forman, a renowned scholar of social change, race and ethnic relations, as its new director. Forman is leading the institute’s work to build the JWJI as a national destination for interdisciplinary public scholarship and teaching on all aspects of modern civil rights, race and difference.
Forman’s appointment completes the merger begun last year of the original JWJI and the university’s Race and Difference Strategic Initiative, and sets the stage for an expansion of the institute’s original vision, including a deepening of rigorous scholarly exploration combined with a broadening of public scholarship that engages the Emory community, Atlanta and beyond. Forman formerly co-directed the race and difference initiative.
One major initiative of the JWJI will be the Atlanta Area Study (AAS), a multi-disciplinary, collaborative initiative that seeks to strengthen research, teaching, and public decision-making related to race, difference and public policy. The present-day metro-Atlanta area, combined with its rich history, creates a complex case study for such scholarship and teaching, Forman says.