Public Release: 

SAGE and the Urban Affairs Association announce the winner of the UAA-SAGE Activist Scholar Award

Winner to give a plenary lecture at the 2013 Urban Affairs Association Annual Conference


Los Angeles, CA (March 28, 2013) - SAGE and the Urban Affairs Association (UAA) are pleased to announce that Dr. Kitty Kelly Epstein is the 2013 winner of the UAA-SAGE Marilyn Gittell Activist Scholar Lecture Series and Award. Dr. Epstein will be honored at the 2013 UAA Annual Conference held in San Francisco, CA April 3-6, 2013.

Set up in 2010, the Activist Scholar award honors the legacy of the late scholar and urban affairs activist, Dr. Marilyn Jacobs Gittell. It is awarded annually to an urban scholar who has engaged in field-based research that incorporates direct engagement with local residents and organizations in the city of the Association conference.

"I was astonished to discover that there is actually an award for being a scholar-activist!" Epstein commented. "Organizing and analyzing with the other folks who live in my city is a great privilege. If we all do a lot more organizing, we might eventually be able to end the racial wealth gap and sustain humanity in joyous, equitable cities all over the world"

Dr. Epstein is a Professor of Education and Urban Studies at Holy Names University and Fielding Graduate University. She recently served a four-year tenure as Director of Educational Policy and Resident Engagement for the Mayor of Oakland. Her 2012 book, Organizing to Change a City, captures the results and insights drawn from her service to the city. In a previous book, A Different View of Urban Schools, she advocated for more ethnically accurate curriculum materials and greater teacher diversity in California schools. Through a combination of scholarship and her various service and community organizing efforts, she has shown a deep commitment to equity and meaningful change in urban communities.

Dr. Marilyn Gittell was a remarkable scholar, political scientist, and education reformer. She wrote seminal works on urban participation, was the founding editor of Urban Affairs Quarterly - presently titled Urban Affairs Review - SAGE's first journal and the leading academic journal in the field of urban research, and was an impassioned participant in one of the most controversial social experiments of her time - New York City school decentralization. She was deeply committed to training young urban scholars of color and women, and taught them to understand the workings of democracy from the ground up, using the methods of field research.

"SAGE is honored to recognize a scholar who embodies the passion and dedication to urban affairs as did the late Marilyn Gittell," stated Michele Sordi, Vice President, SAGE. "Dr. Epstein is a powerful, present-day example of the real-world impact of scholarship in creating and maintaining a healthy society. We congratulate her on receiving this year's Marilyn Gittell Activist Scholar Award, and look forward to hearing her remarks at the Urban Affairs Association Annual Conference in San Francisco."

The UAA Annual Conference unites key scholars and activists to explore how to understand urban challenges, to create effective public policy, and to memorialize the legacy of Marilyn Gittell. The theme for this year's conference is "Building the 21st Century City: Inclusion, Innovation, and Globalization." On Friday, April 5, Dr. Epstein will give a formal plenary lecture detailing her work, its findings, and implications for practice and policy.


To view the general program for the UAA Annual Conference, click here:

For a detailed description of the sessions, click here:

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC.

The Urban Affairs Association is dedicated to creating interdisciplinary spaces for engaging in intellectual and practical discussions about urban life. Through theoretical, empirical, and action-oriented research, the UAA fosters diverse activities to understand and shape a more just and equitable urban world.

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