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Dubois Center:
Crossing Disciplines for Research

    Some of the urban themes and racial issues raised by W.E.B. Dubois's 1899 landmark study The Philadelphia Negro are being given a fresh look by a new multi-disciplinary center at Penn: the W.E.B. DuBois Collective Research Institute. Led by Dr. Margaret Beale Spencer, the Board of Overseers Professor of Education, the institute involves eight schools at the University and brings together researchers from health care, business, the humanities, education, and the social sciences. It will conduct research within a framework that takes into account the uniqueness of the African-American experience, including the various historical, cognitive, and behavioral responses to adverse circumstances -- and the appropriate methodological strategies for dealing with them.
    Noting that "many of the urban themes raised a hundred years ago by Dubois remain unresolved today," Spencer said that the new institute will provide a "means to conduct much-needed basic research across disciplines and to partner with communities to apply the research."

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