UB College of Public Affairs Earns NASPAA Recognition for 'Poor People's Campaign' Course
October 18, 2018
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
The University of Baltimore's College of Pubic Affairs recently earned the prestigious Social Equity Award from the national Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) for its spring 2018 course on Martin Luther King Jr.'s Poor People's Campaign. The course, which was free and open to the public, examined King's work—his last major public initiative before his assassination in 1968—on the issue of multigenerational poverty, and how these efforts continue to resonate in American society today. The award recognizes a public policy, affairs, or administration program that exemplifies the highest standards in social equity through outstanding contributions in research, teaching, and service.
NASPAA’s official letter notifying College of Public Affairs Dean Roger Hartley praises a number of faculty members in the college's School of Public and International Affairs, each of whom led the course's development:
"The committee reached the decision to recognize your program based on the collective initiative entitled 'Poor People's Campaign: An Interdisciplinary Study of the 1968 Effort to Gain Economic Justice for Poor People in the United States.' The initiative led by your faculty members Dr. Lenneal Henderson, Dr. Ed Gibson, and Dr. Al Gourrier took a comprehensive look at the roots, actions, and legacy of Martin Luther King's 1968 Poor People’s Campaign—all with a goal of an increased understanding of current issues in the arc of the relevant policies' development. As you know, this collective gathered experts, witnesses, and activists for classes that were available to the public. The committee specifically commends the faculty on their creativity and focus on social justice, inequality and equity. Obviously social equity permeates every aspect of your Poor People's Campaign."
Dean Hartley noted: "One of our goals as a college was to achieve national recognition for our work in social equity, inclusion amd public engagement. Faculty in the School of Public and International Affairs put together a marvelous public course addressing the legacy of the Poor People's Campaign. They worked with journalist Marc Steiner to make this happen. I want to thank NASPAA for this high honor!"
NASPAA presented the award to Dean Hartley during its annual conference in Atlanta on Oct. 13. The organization's mission is to "ensure excellence in education and training for public service and to promote the ideal of public service." The University of Baltimore's College of Public Affairs is one of nearly 300 members located across the U.S. and in 24 countries around the world.