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PlexusCalls - Managing Diversity: Integration and Meaning in Late 20th Century Philadelphia
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When: Friday, May 10 2013
From 1:00 PM until 2:00 PM
Contact: Prucia Buscell

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Friday, May 10, 2013 - 1-2 PM ET
Managing Diversity: Integration and Meaning in Late 20th Century Philadelphia
Guests: Abigail Perkiss and Alan Barstow

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In the early 1950s, neighborhoods across the country were experiencing racial tensions and white flight. Philadelphia’s West Mount Airy neighborhood bucked powerful legal and cultural trends to foster racial integration. In her forthcoming book, Civil Rights' Stepchild: The Making, Maintenance, and Meaning of Neighborhood Integration in Post-WWII Philadelphia. Abigail Perkiss examines American urban culture, the northern civil rights struggle, and how African American and white residents experienced the creation of residentially integrated space in the latter part of twentieth century. It’s a complex and compelling story.

Abigail Perkiss, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of History at Kean University in Union, NJ. She is broadly trained in U.S. history, twentieth century urban culture, African American history, oral history, and legal history. Her research centers on the history of race, ethnicity, and urban identity in post-WWII American cities, and has been guided by questions of identity creation, community cohesion, and historical memory. Dr. Perkiss completed her JD and PhD in U.S. history at Temple University in Philadelphia. She is a barred attorney in the state of Pennsylvania, and serves as the faculty advisor for the Kean University Pre-Law Society and Kean University Historical Society. Previously, she earned a graduate certificate in creative nonfiction writing at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, and graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College with an AB in sociology and a minor in creative writing.

Alan M. Barstow, PhD, is an author, consultant and educator specializing in organizational design, the process of change, and sustainable development. He is the director of academics and collaboration and a faculty member of the Organizational Dynamics Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Barstow co-founded INTERACT, The Institute for Interactive Management, in 1986 and served on its Board of Directors. He was previously faculty research associate at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Barstow engages executives and professionals in rethinking strategic goals and action, and in learning effective ways to produce change. He is a Fulbright Scholar and received his Ph D in Anthropology from Columbia University. Dr. Barstow works with organizations engaged in redesign and cultural transformation processes. He believes:"Organizations engaged in such efforts are doing important work. They are focused on where they are going, not where they have been. This is essential for success and maintaining adaptability in an environment of turbulent and complex change.”

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