About the Award

The Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize was created by the late Professor Joseph B. Gittler to recognize outstanding and lasting scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic and/or religious relations.

The Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Endowed Fund at Brandeis University supports this annual award.

The award includes a cash prize of $25,000 and a medal. The prize and medal are presented at a ceremony that includes a reception and a public lecture by the recipient on the Brandeis campus.

2018 Award Presentation and Lecture

tatum-beverly.jpg

Beverly Daniel Tatum

“Closing the Empathy Gap: Community Building through Dialogue”


Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum


Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018
3:30–5 p.m.
Sherman Function Hall
Hassenfeld Conference Center

Fifty years after the assassination of civil rights leader Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, American society is in a state of growing political polarization, continued racial separation and increasing school segregation. Limited cross-group interaction has resulted in a fundamental empathy gap. What can individuals and institutions do to close it?

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum was president of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia from 2002 until her retirement in 2015, when she was named president emerita. Her critically acclaimed 1997 book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race, has been re-released in a special 20th anniversary version, with significant changes that reflect demographic shifts in America today.

Tatum will deliver the Gittler lecture at the award ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 from 3:30–5 p.m. in Sherman Function Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center, followed by a reception. The event is free and open to the public, with no tickets required.

Tatum will be in residence on the Brandeis University campus on Wednesday, Oct. 3 and Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018.

Additional Events


Thursday, September 27, 2018 | 2–3:30 p.m.

"Pre-residency event: Faculty seminar — Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Center for Teaching and Learning"
Location: Heller G2; Register online.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 | 12–2 p.m.

"Faculty lunch seminar — Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Center for Teaching and Learning"
Location: International Lounge, Usdan (Lunch will be provided) Register online.

Thursday, October 4, 2018 | 12–1:50 p.m.

"A discussion on the impact of the demographic shift on education"
Location: Heller Zinner Forum

Thursday, October 4, 2018 | Time: 8 p.m.

"An Evening of Art, Identity, and Lived Experience with Dr. Beverly Tatum"
Location: Intercultural Center