Reuben Jonathan Miller, University of Chicago SSA Professor and Scholar on U.S. Carceral System, Will be 2021 Graduation Speaker

April 2, 2021 @ 5:10 pm
By Office of the Dean

The Columbia School of Social Work has announced that Dr. Reuben Jonathan Miller, Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, will be its 2021 commencement speaker.

“We are delighted that Dr. Miller will present this year’s commencement address to our graduates. His innovative research, spanning the areas of race, punishment, and social welfare policy, is in full alignment with CSSW’s mission and commitment to put social justice and racial justice at the center of all we do,” said Dean Melissa Begg. “In his outstanding new book, Halfway Home: Race, Punishment and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration, he exposes the injustices in the U.S. carceral system and its disproportionate impact on the well-being of communities of color.”

Taking a thoroughly interdisciplinary approach to address questions of citizenship, opportunity, and racial justice, Dr. Miller has conducted fieldwork in Chicago, Detroit, and New York City, examining how law, policy and emergent practices of state and third-party supervision changed the contours of citizenship, activism, community, and family life for poor Black Americans and the urban poor more broadly. He is also conducting research in Glasgow, London, and Belgrade, pursuing comparative studies of punishment and social policy in cities deeply steeped in the transatlantic slave trade.

Prior to joining the Crown Family School, Dr. Miller was an assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan where he served as a faculty associate in the Population Studies Center and a faculty affiliate in the Department of Afro American and African Studies. He was selected as a member in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ (one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry), a visiting fellow at Dartmouth, and an Eric and Wendy Schmidt National Fellow at the New America Foundation. His work has been published in journals spanning the fields of sociology, social work, public health, law, human rights, psychology, and criminology—and he is a frequent commentator on issues of crime, punishment, race, and poverty.

A native son of Chicago’s Southside, Dr. Miller received his BA from Chicago State University, his Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago, and his PhD in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago.

The 2021 virtual graduation ceremony will take place on April 30th at 3:00pm. More information can be found here.