Race and crime in Champaign

A respected friend sent me an invitation to attend an excellent opportunity to dialog about the social issues surrounding race and crime in Champaign, specifically the News Gazette’s coverage of such.

When: Monday, December 14th, 7:30 pm
Where: Gregory Hall, Room 223 (http://ada.fs.illinois.edu/0043.html)


Mr. Althaus gave me permission to post this, so here is his open invitation:

As someone interested in racial justice issues affecting our community, I’d like to invite you (and anyone else who might be interested) to attend a presentation and discussion about new research on the race and gender of crime suspects appearing in newspaper coverage about Champaign County.

This fall I have been teaching a Junior Honors Seminar for the U of I’s Political Science department that provides a team of undergraduate students with an immersion experience in social science research. Our class project this semester has been a systematic analysis of the News Gazette’s coverage of crime that examines the race and gender of suspects reported in the news over a three-month period in 2015. We compare the News Gazette’s crime coverage to the race and gender of suspects recorded in arrest data from major law enforcement agencies in Champaign County and in jail bookings data compiled by the Champaign County Sheriff’s Department. Our study examines both the news stories and the photographs that accompany them.

We feel that this study could make a significant contribution to local conversations about racial justice issues in our community, and so I want to invite you (and anyone else who might be interested) to attend a public presentation by our research team on Monday, December 14, at 7:30pm in Room 223 of Gregory Hall on the University of Illinois campus (Gregory Hall is located on the southwest corner of the Quad at 810 South Wright Street, Urbana). We will be reviewing the main findings of the study and engaging in dialogue with those in attendance about what these findings might mean for the Champaign-Urbana community. Following the presentation, copies of the study report as well as the data sets compiled for this research project will be made available for public distribution.

If you come, please be aware that Gregory Hall will be used for final exams on Monday night. Please try to walk through the building quietly on your way to and from the room.

I hope you will be able to join us this coming Monday night. Please feel free to pass this invitation along to anyone else who might be interested in attending.

Scott L. Althaus
Charles J. and Ethel S. Merriam Professor of Political Science
Professor of Communication
Director, Cline Center for Democracy
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign