University News

Voter Suppression and American Politics to be Explored by Distinguished Professor Frances Fox Piven on September 17 at William Paterson University in Wayne

—Lecture by Piven is presented in observance of Constitution Day  

William Paterson University in Wayne will observe the ninth annual Constitution Day on Tuesday, September 17 with a lecture by Frances Fox Piven, distinguished professor of political science at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, titled “Voter Suppression and American Politics.” Piven will discuss the history of voting rights in the U.S., including the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in University Commons Ballroom C on campus.

The program is sponsored by the American Democracy Project (ADP) at William Paterson University, part of a nationwide initiative coordinated by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) that seeks to increase civic engagement levels of U.S. students attending public colleges and universities in the 21st century.  Interested students are invited to stay after the lecture for a light lunch and an informal voter registration discussion led by the ADP’s “Youth Vote 2013” outreach team.


Piven is past president of the American Sociological Association. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the President's Award of the American Public Health Association, the American Political Science Association’s Charles McCoy Career Achievement Award (New Political Science section), and the American Sociological Association's Career Award for the Practice of Sociology. Her distinguished list of publications include Regulating the Poor (1971); Poor People's Movements (1977); The New Class War (1982; 1985); Why Americans Don't Vote (1988); The Mean Season (1987); Labor Parties in Postindustrial Societies (1992); The Breaking of the American Social Compact (1997); Why Americans Still Don't Vote (2000); The War at Home (2004); Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America (2006), and Keeping Down the Black Vote: Race and the Demoblization of American Voters (2008).  Along with her late husband and longtime co-author Richard Cloward, Piven drafted the original legislation passed by the U.S. Congress in 1993, colloquially known as the “Motor Voter Bill.”

Federal legislation signed in December 2004 requires all educational institutions that receive federal funds to implement an educational program on September 17 each year that provides students with increased awareness and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution.

For additional information, contact the American Democracy Project at William Paterson University at 973-720-3921.