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O'Connor Lecture

The Annual Daniel Patrick O'Connor Memorial Lecture exists to promote the principles of scholarship, research, and volunteerism in the service for social justice. The Daniel Patrick O'Connor Memorial Lectureship Endowed Fund is made possible through generous contributions from Margaret O'Connor, Michael and Kathie O'Connor, and their friends.

2018-19 O'Connor Lecture

Stuart DOU Cover MediumForrest Stuart  

Down, Out and Under Arrest: Policing and Everyday Life Among the Urban Poor

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Richard F. Celeste Theater
Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center
825 N. Cascade Ave.

Winner of the 2017 American Sociological Association Robert E. Park Award for Best Book in Community and Urban Sociology, Forest Stuart's book Down, Out and Under Arrest: Policing and Everyday Life in Skid Row is a close up look at the hows and whys of policing poverty in the contemporary United States.  What emerges from Stuart's years of fieldwork is a tragedy built on mistakes and misplaced priorities. 

In his first year working in Los Angeles's Skid Row, Forrest Stuart was stopped on the street by police fourteen times.  Usually for doing little more than standing there.

Juliette, a woman he met during that time, has been stopped by police well over 100 times, arrested upward of 60 times, and has given up more than a year of her life serving week-long jail sentences. Her most common crime?  Simply sitting on the sidewalk - an arrestable offense in LA.

Why?  What purpose did those arrests serve?  How did we reach a point where we've cut support for our poorest citizens, yet are spending ever more on policing and prisons?  Stuart reveals a situation where a lot of people on both sides of this issue are trying to do the right thing, yet often come up short.  Sometimes in ways that do serious harm.

Stuart is an Associate Professor of Sociology and the College at the University of Chicago and a faculty fellow of the University of Chicago's Urban Health Initiative.  His research investigates how recent developments - specifically mass incarceration, zero-tolerance policing, digital social media, and new forms of music - have reshaped the social fabric of disadvantaged neighborhoods in the twenty-first century.

For more information on Forrest Stuart, please visit

Daniel Patrick O'Connor

Dan O'Connor was a student at Colorado College in the fall of 1990 and winter of 1991. A committed social activist, he participated in student campus organizations concerned with environmental issues in ethnic communities as well as other social justice struggles. He participated in the student protests against Battle Mountain Gold's strip mine and cyanide leach mill in the foothills above the Chicano land grant community of San Luis. He also participated in the "alternative spring break" program of the College's Center for Community Service in the San Luis Valley. Dan was committed to workplace democracy, environmental justice, cultural diversity, and social equality.

"I knew that I wanted to change the world at least a little bit.... I didn't believe that any political system could create a good society. 'Change has to come through the heart, not through the mind,' I would say. I wanted to affect people's hearts. I began to paint more and tried to raise my own life to an art form. By this, I mean simply to be as just as possible in my relationships with other people.... I now believe that change can only come through a synthesis of the heart and the mind. I continue to feel an ethical code is necessary to live by, but now I include in this code, political activity.... I am compelled to hit the streets and make my voice heard."

--Daniel Patrick O'Connor, 1991

Past O'Connor Lecturers

2018 -- Deyanira Aldana
2017 -- Matthew Desmond
2016 -- Jay MacLeod
2015 -- Gary Snyder
2013 -- Roberto Gonzales
2012 -- Josh Fox
2011 -- Reza Aslan
2010 -- Jessica Jackley
2009 -- Alan Weisman
2008 -- Naomi Klein
2007 -- Bill McKibben
2006 -- Jim Wallis
2005 -- Thomas Frank
2004 -- Amy Goodman
2003 -- Nancy Folbre
2002 -- Nancy Fraser
2001 -- Kevin Danaher
2000 -- Jay MacLeod
1999 -- Randall Kennedy
1998 -- Jody Kretzmann
1997 -- William Julius Wilson
1996 -- Gary Snyder
1994 -- Vandana Shiva
1993 -- Richard Moore
1992 -- Robert Bullard