Last year, Beryl Satter, professor in the Department of History and the Graduate Program in American Studies at Rutgers University–Newark (RU-N), was named a Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. This year, Satter is one of 33 scholars to receive a 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellows award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The philanthropic foundation awarded $6.6 million toward scholarship in the social sciences and humanities. Satter, along with the other awardees, will receive funding to support one to two years of scholarly research and writing.

The Andrew Carnegie Fellows were selected based on the originality, promise, and potential impact of their proposals. Satter’s proposal, her third book project, focuses on the history of ShoreBank (1973-2010), a Chicago-based bank holding company devoted to black economic development. Her book describes the political battles that erupted between the finance and business leaders who controlled neighborhood credit flows and the activists who challenged them. At its core, Satter’s project is both a history of contestations over meanings of freedom and democracy, and an analysis of the credit practices that created social inequality – specifically, lending practices that stymied racial integration and the economic development of African-American communities.

Satter’s third project follows her critically acclaimed book, Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America (Metropolitan Books, 2009). In 2010, Family Properties won the Organization of American Historian’s Liberty Legacy Award for best work in civil rights history, garnered the Jewish Book Council’s National Jewish Book Award in history, and earned designation as an “Honor Book” by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Named a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize as well as the Ron Ridenhour Book Prize, Family Properties also received recognition as one of the top 10 books of the year by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Booklist, the Newberry Library, and the Progressive magazine. It also led to Satter winning the Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research from Rutgers University in 2011.

“Beryl Satter is one of this country’s most brilliant analysts of the ways in which racism threatens our democracy by embedding itself in the very structures of the American economy. She is just the sort of vibrant, creative scholar whom the Carnegie Corporation is seeking to bring a fresh perspective to the challenges facing us over the next quarter century,” comments Jan Ellen Lewis, dean of RU-N’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program supports both established and emerging scholars, journalists, and authors whose work distills knowledge, enriches culture, and equips leaders in the realms of science, law, technology, business, and public policy.

The nominating process entailed three levels of review and began with Carnegie Corporation of New York seeking recommendations from more than 600 leaders representing a range of universities, think tanks, publishers, and nonprofit organizations nationwide. They nominated some 200 candidates, whose proposals were evaluated by an anonymous team of prominent scholars, educators, and intellectuals. The final selections were made by a distinguished panel of 16 jurors, including heads of the country’s premier scholarly institutions and presidents of leading universities and foundations.

The anticipated result of each fellowship is the publication of a book or major study.

Click here to learn more about this year’s awardees.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Beryl Satter