Professor heads to Selma to present '50 Years of the Voting Rights Act'

Khalilah Brown-Dean

Khalilah Brown-Dean, of New Haven, associate professor of political science, will be in Selma, Alabama on Saturday, March 7, to present "50 Years of the Voting Rights Act," a report she co-authored for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.  

The report is being released on the 50th anniversary of the day 600 people began a 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol in Montgomery. They were demonstrating for African American voting rights and to commemorate the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, shot three weeks earlier by a state trooper while trying to protect his mother at a civil rights demonstration.

The key findings of the report:

  • The black-white racial gap in voter turnout has decreased dramatically in presidential elections since 1965.  
  • Local election turnout is generally less than half of presidential general election turnout. As overall turnout declines in local elections, the electorate may become less diverse.
  • Turnout rates among both Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans in presidential elections remain 15 to 20 points below white Americans.
  • Since 1960, the party identification and partisan voting patterns of blacks and whites have become sharply divided.
  • In urban local elections, race is a more decisive factor than income, education, political ideology, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, and political ideology.
  • Based on available data from 1972 to 2010, blacks were the least advantaged group in America in terms of policy outcomes.    
  • Since 1965, the number of elected officials of color has grown enormously, but people of color remain underrepresented in elected office.  

To arrange an interview with Brown-Dean, please call John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations at Quinnipiac, at 203-206-4449 (cell).

Learn more about Brown-Dean.

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