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Jackson wins Tenth Decade grant to study Black Americans, group threat

September 21, 2020

Jenn M. Jackson

Jenn M. Jackson

Jenn Jackson, assistant professor of political science, has been awarded $20,000 for their research project "Race, Risks, and Responses: Mapping Black Americans’ Response to Group Threat."  The grant is part of a special call to Maxwell faculty offering Tenth Decade Project funding to support research and initiatives that confront systemic racial inequality.

Jackson’s project builds on and expands their inquiry into how young Black Americans of different social identities (across gender, class, sexual orientation, embodiment, etc.) experience threats, especially policing, differently based on variations in their social location and orientation to power. Jackson’s initial research was based on interviews with 50 young Black Americans in Chicago. The funding will support the development of a national survey to further generalize their initial findings across racial groups.

“This project is critical right now (and always) as it focuses on policing and young Black Americans’ unique experiences at multiple margins of identity,” said Jackson. “There is so much more we need to know about how threat shapes our modern political system and what it means for those most vulnerable among us.”

Funded by the Tenth Decade Project, the nationally representative survey will go into the field in fall 2020. Data will be collected through early spring 2021. Jackson intends to publish a book detailing the survey findings, along with interview outcomes from young Black Americans from select U.S. cities, within the next two years.

Maxwell’s Tenth Decade Project, established in 2014 in connection with the School’s 90th anniversary, serves as an incubator for multidisciplinary research on crucial issues of citizenship, policy, and international affairs, including security, technology and autonomous systems, health, governance, cities, inequality, development, and environment and sustainability. 

With lead funding from long-time Maxwell supporters Gerry and Daphna Cramer, and additional gifts, the Tenth Decade Fund supports innovative new projects and Maxwell faculty scholarship.

In summer 2020, the Maxwell School issued a special call to invite proposals for research projects that bring attention to systemic racial inequality and offer evidence-based solutions for how to address persistent inequities. This special call has been extended for the remainder of the academic year; proposals will be accepted and considered on a rolling basis until April 30, 2021. Interested Maxwell faculty can email for eligibility and submission criteria.


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