University of Pittsburgh
February 2, 2009

Pitt Faculty Experts in Social Work, Race Relations, African American History, and Law Available to Discuss Impact of NAACP Since Its Founding 100 Years Ago


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-From the ballot box to the classroom, the NAACP has been a champion of social justice in this country, working to ensure equal political, educational, social, and economic rights for all people. As the organization marks the 100th anniversary of its founding on Feb. 12, 2009, three Pitt experts are available to comment. Information on these experts follows.

Larry Davis, dean, Pitt's School of Social Work (SSW)

The inaugural holder of Pitt's Donald M. Henderson Professorship, Davis is director and founder of Pitt's Center on Race and Social Problems, the first research center on race at any school of social work in the nation. The center and its programs look at how race affects economic and education gaps, relations between groups of people, mental health, criminal justice, youth and families, and the elderly. As SSW dean, Davis has recruited to the University faculty who conduct research on race, and he has encouraged other Pitt schools and departments to do the same. He has added several new courses on race issues to the social work curriculum and has created a new "Journal on Race and Social Problems," expected to be published this year. He is the coauthor of "Race, Gender and Class: Guidelines for Practice With Individuals, Families and Groups" (Prentice Hall, 1989) and the author of "Working With African American Males: A Guide to Practice" (Sage Publications, 1999) and "Black and Single: Finding and Choosing a Partner Who is Right for You" (Agate, 3rd edition, 2004). He may be reached at 412-624-6304 (office), 412-780-5012 (cell), or; or through Sharon Blake at 412-624-4364 (office), 412-277-6926 (cell), or

Laurence Glasco, associate professor of history

A history professor at the University since 1969, Glasco can talk about the history of the civil rights movement in Pittsburgh. His areas of expertise include comparative studies of race relations and the history of Blacks in Cuba and the United States. Among his many publications are "Urban Slavery in World Perspective" in "A Historical Guide to World Slavery" (Oxford University Press, 1998); "Black Migration to Pittsburgh" and "'The Pittsburgh Courier' and Black Migration," in Steven Reich, ed., "Encyclopedia of Black Migration" (forthcoming); "The W.P.A. History of the Negro in Pittsburgh" (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004); "Pittsburgh," in Jack Salzman, ed., "Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History" (MacMillan, 2001)(6 vols.); and "Legacy in Bricks and Mortar: African-American Landmarks in Allegheny County," with Frank Bolden and Eliza Smith, (Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, 1995). Glasco is currently writing books about the late playwright August Wilson and the late Pennsylvania Speaker of the House K. Leroy Irvis, who was the first African American speaker of a state house since Reconstruction. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Antioch College and the Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Glasco may be reached at 412-648-7486 (office), 412-687-6943 (home), or; or through Trish White at 412-624-9101 (office), 412-215-9932 (cell), or

Robert Harper, Pitt professor emeritus of law

Harper began teaching at the University after graduating from Pitt's School of Law in 1971; he retired in 2004. At Pitt law school, Harper taught criminal law, evidence, scientific evidence, and law and education. He also taught in Pitt's CLEO Summer Institute, served as faculty advisor for the Black Law Student Association, and as a board member of Neighborhood Legal Services for 26 years. He was a police legal advisor for the City of Pittsburgh. Harper writes bar examination questions and conducts seminars in law for judges, educators, and lawyers. He is author of two books: "Pennsylvania Arrests, Searches, and Seizures" (The Harrison Co., 1983, supp., 1986) and "Handbook of Pennsylvania Law of Evidence" (Aspen Publishers, 2001, supp., 2006). Before going to law school, Harper served as an officer in the U.S. Army and was an algebra teacher. In addition to his law degree, Harper earned the Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and education at Pitt in 1962. Harper may be reached at 412-363-7929 (home) or, or through Trish White at 412-624-9101 (office), 412-215-9932 (cell), or