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John Moland, Jr. Award Statement

This award, which honors the intellectual traditions of W.E.B. DuBois, Charles S. Johnson, and E. Franklin Frazier, is given annually for either a lifetime of research, teaching, and service to the community, or to an academic institution for its work in assisting the development of scholarly efforts in this tradition. The distinguished recipient of this year’s DuBois-Johnson-Frazier Award is Professor John Moland, Jr.

Before heading to Fisk University where the young Mr. Moland would receive his bachelor’s degree under Charles Johnson, one of the scholarly greats for whom this award is named, John Moland served in the U.S. Army (1945-47) as First Sergeant, Infantry in the Pacific. An honors student at Fisk, Mr. Moland majored in sociology and minored in psychology, and went on to earn his master’s degree at Fisk with a Carnegie Corporation fellowship. A “magnet” for scholarships, Moland earned a sociology doctorate (focusing on social psychology) with a Noyes scholarship at the University of Chicago. An instructor at Florida A&M and then an Associate Professor at Grambling State before he left for Chicago, Dr. Moland returned to the historically Black university and spent the balance of his career first at Southern University, where he was Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Social Research from 1969-1988, and then at Alabama State University, where he was professor of Sociology and Director of Social Science Research from 1988-2001. He has been a servant to the ideal of the university in his various capacities as chairperson, assistant to the president, director of development, director of federal relations and grants, and director of international programs.

His work is careful, thoughtful, and always relevant, with research and writing on subjects from mental health to juvenile delinquency, from gang behavior to the culture of adolescent humor, from poverty in rural America to the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, from community relations with law enforcement to the importance of employment programs for African Americans across the South. The author of 30 publications including monographs, book chapters, refereed articles, and book reviews, Moland has just as frequently presented papers to audiences that were in positions to make a difference, whether they were in Mississippi, Nigeria, Shreveport, or his classrooms.

In the very best traditions of W.E.B. DuBois, E. Franklin Frazier, and Charles Johnson, John Moland, Jr., has shown his commitment to historically Black colleges and universities, has shown his commitment to the communities in which he has lived, and has shown everyone with whom he has come into contact that sociology has a purpose that is larger than the boundaries of its own discipline; it provides tools to live more justly and equitably in the world.