Dean of Students analyzes race relations in upcoming book
Published: Monday, February 13, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
A DePaul staff member is stepping into his role as an agent of social change and racial awareness. Dean of Students Dr. Art Munin is the author of "Color by Number: Understanding Race Through Facts and Stats on Children", a statistical analysis of race relations in today's society. The book will be available this June.
After years of working in social justice and multicultural communication, Munin wanted to write a book that analyzed race in a purely quantitative manner. He believes "Color by Number" will be a "very tangible fact-based resource."
"By the numbers, we can show racism exists," he said.
"Color by Number" focuses primarily on children and connects issues such as healthcare, juvenile justice and K-12 education to racism. Munin used an interdisciplinary approach to his research and gathered information from a variety of sources. Additionally, he used simple quantitative tools like percentages and correlations to make the book more accessible.
"Anybody can pick this up and make sense of it," he said.
Munin's decision to analyze children is derived from sympathy for the struggles and lack of opportunity they undergo because of race.
"Children of color experience racism from their youngest days," he said.
For example, some of his research discusses the inadequate healthcare children of color receive. As a result of this, he believes, their performance in school will inadvertently decline. However, these are correlations people don't usually consider, he said. Why don't they consider this?
"You can see those connections everywhere," Munin said. "It's astounding."
This also challenges the American narrative that everyone can succeed if they work hard, according to Munin.
"There is no argument in the world that says children should work harder," he said. "They truly are victims of society."
Munin also sees a problem with how people in the United States today view racism. Now that an African American has been elected as president, he argued, there's a need to prove to people that racism is even an issue.
"There's been this rampant use of post-race ideology," he said.
Additionally, he believes racism evolves and creates a perceived change in society. However, he said that doesn't necessarily mean the problem is eradicated.
Munin believes his writing and work at DePaul go hand-in-hand. The thoughts behind his book were enhanced by the beliefs shared among DePaul students and faculty, particularly because it has a strong focus on social justice.
"People come here generally desiring that justice conversation," he said. "I don't think other institutions can claim that."
In addition to the book's release this summer, Munin will be releasing supplemental videos detailing information about each chapter. He also plans to open a Facebook group for discussion and hold a workshop at DePaul in the spring.
"It's a multimedia world," he said. "It's just another way to get information into people's hands."