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University of Iowa News Release

March 29, 2006

UI Symposium To Address U.S. Inequality, Future Of The Middle Class

The University of Iowa Institute for Inequality Studies will host a two-day symposium April 6-7, "Rising Inequality in the U.S.: Does the Middle Class Have a Future?" The event is free and open to the public and all sessions will be held in the South Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.

One of the event's three featured speakers, Jody Heymann of McGill University, is visiting the UI as an Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Professor. Her lecture, "Addressing the Inequalities Faced by Children and Families in the Current Global Economy," begins at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 6. Heymann holds a Canada Research Chair in global health and social policy and is founding director of the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy. She is a professor in the Faculties of Medicine and Arts, as well as founding director of the Project on Global Working Families and founding chair of the Initiative on Work, Family and Democracy.

On Friday, April 7, the symposium features lectures by Richard Freeman, who holds Harvard University's Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics, and Teresa Sullivan, the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Texas System. Freeman will consider "What Future for Labor in the Global Economy?" at 10 a.m. and Sullivan will speak on "Bankruptcy: the Great Unequalizer" at 1:30 p.m.

Directed by Professors Kevin Leicht and Jennifer Glass, both of the Department of Sociology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Institute for Inequality Studies promotes research on the causes and consequences of the myriad forms of social inequality - class, gender, race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. As part of its mission, the Institute promotes greater visibility for scholarship on social inequality through the periodic sponsorship of symposia focusing on important issues in inequality research that attract community interest.

This symposium is co-sponsored by the Ida Beam Lecture Series, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the College of Law, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Social Work and the Departments of Sociology, Economics, Health Management and Policy, Behavioral and Community Health and Parent-Child-Family Nursing.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, Program: Kevin Leicht, or Jennifer Glass,