Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

2018 Recipient

Dr. Beverly Daniel TatumDr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on racial identity and resegregation in America, is the 2018 winner of the Gittler Prize. Tatum visited campus for a residency and award ceremony in October 2018.

Tatum was president of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia from 2002 until her retirement in 2015, when she was named president emeritus. Her critically acclaimed landmark book from 1997, "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 is also the author of "Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community," published in 1987 and "Can We Talk About Race? And Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation" in 2007. She has conducted workshops and spoken on issues of racial identity across the country.

Along with her books and thought leadership, Tatum has had an illustrious career in higher education. She was professor of psychology and education at Mount Holyoke College for 13 years, where she later was appointed dean and vice president for student affairs. She served as acting president at Mount Holyoke before becoming president at Spelman College.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York named her the recipient of its 2013 Academic Leadership Award. She was the first college president in the state of Georgia and the first at a historically black college or university to win the award.

Beverly Daniel Tatum was in residence on Oct. 3-4, 2018. The Gittler award presentation and lecture was also held Oct. 8.


Beverly Daniel Tatum

"Closing the Empathy Gap: Community Building through Dialogue," October 3, 2018

Derron Wallace and Beverly Daniel Tatum

Beverly Daniel Tatum in conversation with Derron Wallace, Professor of Education and Sociology, October 3, 2018

“Some people believe that talking about race will make things worse ... creating problems where otherwise there would be none. Silencing the conversation, however, is just another way to maintain the status quo. You can't solve a problem without talking about it.”

Beverly Daniel Tatum

From her lecture, "Closing the Empathy Gap: Community Building through Dialogue"