Duke University's Dr. Dick Engstrom to Speak on Gerrymandering

Contact: Rebecca Rakoczy
Phone: 678-891-2691
Fax: 678-891-2966   
Author: Rebecca Rakoczy   

For Immediate Release

Two hundred years ago, former Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry attempted to redraw state senate seats to ensure a greater electoral victory of one party over another. This redistricting method is now commonly known as “Gerrymandering.”

Understanding what “gerrymandering” now means to marginalized groups is the topic of a special GPC Reads program featuring  Dick Engstrom, visiting professor at Duke University’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender.

Engstrom will speak about “Majority-Minority Election Districts: Their Adoption and Consequences,” on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 12 p.m. at Georgia Perimeter College’s Jim Cherry Learning Resources auditorium, Clarkston campus. His talk is free and open to the public.

Gerrymandering also is a central theme of the GPC Reads selection, “Praying for Sheetrock,” where African-American candidates in McIntosh County, Georgia were unable to gain election to higher office until an African-American majority district was created to ensure their election.

Engstrom’s lecture occurs on the 200th anniversary of Governor Gerry’s attempt to redraw state senate districts, said Shyam Sriram, GPC political science professor.

“Dr. Engstrom is a veritable encyclopedia on American elections and Congress and has served as an expert on redistricting and gerrymandering in dozens of county and state cases,” Sriram said. “GPC students will have the unique opportunity to learn about why redistricting matters to our republic.”
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Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia, serves approximately 24 ,000 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit www.gpc.edu.