Justice Studies Document Series
RUSSELL CONWELL'S 'ACRES OF DIAMONDS' AND THE MYTH OF MERITOCRACY:
a conversation with Dr. Craig Martin
The myth of meritocracy--according to which anyone can overcome any obstacles to success if only they work hard and don't give up--has long been central to United States' culture. Ostensibly a sentiment designed to encourage people to strive for success, we have a great deal of evidence that it functions to blame the impoverished for their own poverty: if anyone can succeed if only they work hard, then those who have not succeeded must not have tried. Such sentiments permit members of dominant groups to overlook the very real barriers to success faced by minorities, and as a result, the effects of racism are often overlooked or made invisible. In this discussion, Craig Martin will use Conwell's early-twentieth-century speech advocating the myth of meritocracy as a jumping-off point for a broader discussion of how some forms of US culture make it difficult to identify and address the effects of racism.
In preparation for the discussion, participants are encouraged to read the accompanying document: “Acres of Diamonds” by Russell Conwell.
Thursday, April 22, 2021, at 2:30 pm Click Here For Zoom Link
This event is open to the public.Contact [email protected] with any questions
This event is open to all instructors, faculty, staff, and students!