Tag Archives: Chair’s Message

Message from New Section Chair

Dear CUSS members, I would like to begin my first Chair’s Message by expressing gratitude to Derek Hyra for his leadership during a difficult year and for assembling teams of people who created successful sessions and meetings at the online version of ASA’s annual meeting. I also want to thank our Secretary Treasurers, Mary J. Fischer and Yuki Kato. Special thanks to Yuki, who is staying on in that role for one more year after stepping in mid-term. They have made our section better and are helping me to transition into the role of Chair.

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Chair’s Message (Summer 2021)

Derek Hyra
CUSS Newsletter, 2021 Summer, Vol 34, No 2

We are in a much different place than we were earlier this year. Vaccination rates are up, deaths are down, and things are starting to open back up. This has been an extremely difficult year, but I am feeling optimistic and looking forward to the future. We have much collective work to do and lots to celebrate as a section.

In the immediate future, we have an amazing set of section sessions coming up at our ASA Annual Meeting in August. Please virtually join and participate in our four CUSS paper sessions, as we tackle some of the most pressing theoretical and empirical community and urban challenges. Here’s the schedule for our sessions and business meeting.

Don’t miss the CUSS business meeting on Monday, August 9th from 2:30 pm to 3:55 pm (EDT). We will review the state of our section (which is resilient and strong) and celebrate the accomplishments of our members and the broader urban sociology community. Please come to the meeting to help congratulate this year’s set of award winners!

As I noted, our section is strong. As of July 7, we have over 600 members and are standing on solid financial ground as a section going forward. This year we elected a great set of leaders for the various committees and posts and altered our bylaws to reflect our steadfast commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets of our section. I am proud of our continued work to alleviate and minimize injustices in our society and section.

I wish all of you a great rest of the summer and look forward to seeing many of you in August.

Chair’s Message (Winter 2021)

Derek Hyra
American University
2021 Winter, Vol. 34, No.1 

Let me start by wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and productive New Year. 2020 was nothing short of a high speed train wreck. The pandemic and continued police brutality brought on immeasurable suffering and loss, exposing once again the dire consequences of systemic racial inequality. Communities of color have been disproportionally affected by this virus and police aggression. Now more than ever our sociologically-informed, community and urban research is greatly needed, and I implore you to position your work to help fuel social justice efforts aimed at ameliorating racial and spatial inequality.

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Chair’s Message

Japonica Brown-Saracino
Boston University
Summer 2020, Vol. 33, No. 2

Under ordinary circumstances, many of us would be preparing for travel to San Francisco.  We would be looking forward to gathering together, in person, at our sessions, business meeting, roundtables, and for a reception at the Tenderloin Museum.    I am certain that I am not alone in regretting the missed opportunity to engage with one another at our sessions, as well as to talk more informally in a variety of conference settings – from the book exhibit, to the crowded hallways where we would ordinarily gather between panels.

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Chair’s Message (Spring 2019)

Rachel Dwyer
Ohio State State University
2019 Spring, Vol. 32, No 2

This spring has brought me occasions to reflect on mentoring and public engagement as a bedrock of our activities as scholars and, when done well, a source of great meaning, connection, and fulfillment. One of those occasions has been the energy around mentoring in the Section. I’m proud to be part of the Community and Urban Sociology tradition of strong mentoring. We have several initiatives this spring that reflect and build on this tradition. Recently, a call went out to continue our highly successful mentoring meetings, initiated two years ago. We encourage senior volunteers to mentor junior scholars at the upcoming ASA meeting in New York, and we encourage all junior scholars interested in making mentoring connections to sign up to be matched with a more senior scholar. We are planning mentoring activities at the preconference, with more information to come this summer.

We are also proposing an amendment to our bylaws to create a formal “Mentoring Committee,” in order to further support and develop the work of the section. This proposal was developed under Chair Miriam Greenberg’s term, and as a result of research done by the Membership committee and an ad hoc Mentorship committee. The proposal to put the bylaws on the ballot was approved by the 2017-2018 Section Council and at the 2018 section business meeting at the ASA. I encourage all members to vote yes to the bylaw amendment to create a Mentoring Committee to continue to build on the energy and commitment to mentoring in our section. This initiative supports our current members, draws in new members as a major recognized benefit of this section, and builds community by connecting members to each other.

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Chair’s Message (Winter 2019)

Rachel Dwyer
Ohio State State University
CUSS Newsletter, 2019 Winter, Vol 32, No 1

Autumn 2018 has brought sobering reminders of the power of community, for good, but also for terror, for bringing people together, but also for erecting walls. In the worst cases, communities of hate encourage the vile impulses of oppressing and excluding any defined as “other”, even to the point of mass violence. Communities of hate all too often get goaded on and strengthened by powerful and cynical interests in the service of their own pedestrian wills toward greed and power. At the same time, our highest hopes of social inclusion and human flourishing arise out of strong and diverse communities that foster openness, connection, learning, and tolerance.

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Chair’s Message

Miriam Greenberg
UC Santa Cruz
CUSS Newsletter, Summer 2018, Vol 30, No 3

I am excited to see many of you in Philadelphia at our upcoming CUSS panels, business meeting, reception and related sessions and events.  Given the fraught state of our nation, its cities and communities, I find myself thinking more and more that the work we in CUSS do —as researchers and writers, teachers and mentors, citizens of academic departments and sections, and publicly engaged scholars— has never been more vital.  Core CUSS concerns intersect with and illuminate so many of the most contested issues of the day: immigration and citizenship, race and socio-spatial inequality, culture and representation, urbanization and the environment, social movements and the right to city.  Through our conversations about this work at our panels, gatherings, and mentorship meetings, we elevate modes of discourse—critical inquiry, collective support, and engaging across difference—that seem increasingly anathema to those in power, here and around the world.  And where better than the City of Brotherly Love to come together and have these conversations; collectively interrogate our current conjuncture, its history and possible futures; and celebrate and enliven the work and vision of our section?

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