American Sociological Association

ASA Footnotes

A publication of the American Sociological AssociationASA News & Events
September/October 2019

Sociologists Engage Social Justice for a Better World
 at New York Annual Meeting

2019 ASA President Mary Romero presenting her presidential address.

2019 ASA President Mary Romero
presenting her presidential address.

With almost 6,000 attendees at the 114th ASA Annual Meeting in New York, attendance was the highest it has been in recent years. Sociologists and others in attendance joined President Mary Romero in exploring her theme of “Engaging Social Justice for a Better World.”  At a time when issues ranging from the U.S. Census to the racial wealth gap dominate public discourse, more than 600 sessions involving 4,600 presenters and 3,000 research papers deepened understanding of the interrelationship of societal structures and policy issues, as well as their impact on ordinary people and communities.

In her Presidential address, Romero traced the history of sociological scholarship intertwined with activism, from W.E.B. Du Bois and Jane Addams to current efforts to support the fight against social injustice. “As sociologists we have an ethical and professional responsibility to use our sociological imagination and the array of professional tools at our disposal to partner in addressing the many obstacles that challenge our world,” she said. “There still exists a gap between the sociological imagination and an actual transformation of society.”

ASA 2019 award winners (front row) and presenters.

ASA 2019 award winners
(front row) and presenters.

Thematic sessions included an exploration of the role of HBCUs in pioneering sociology, social justice lawyering, and DuBoisian sociology. ASA also debuted the Sociology Action Network, a new program designed to match sociologists with not-for-profit organizations in need of their expertise, and hosted a day-long symposium on Teaching and Learning in Sociology that was temporarily standing-room-only. 

The 115th Annual Meeting will take place in San Francisco, August 8-11, 2020. Christine Williams, 2020 ASA President, and the 2020 Program Committee are in the process of developing a wide-ranging program with the theme, “Power, Inequality and Resistance at Work.” For more information about the 2020 Annual Meeting and to register, visit Online submissions will open November 1.