Two Women Scholars Receive Grawemeyer Awards From the University of Louisville

The Grawemeyer Awards, presented by the University of Louisville, are five annual prizes given in the fields of music, improving world order, psychology, education, and religion. They were established in 1984 by H. Charles Grawemeyer, the founder and CEO of the Reliance Paint and Varnish Company, with an initial endowment of $9 million. Grawemeyer died in 1993.

The first award, Music Composition, was presented in 1985. The award for Ideas Improving World Order was added in 1988 and Education in 1989. In 1990, a fourth award, Religion, was added as a joint prize with the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Psychology was added in 2000, with the first award given out in 2001.

This year two women scholars were selected as winners of Grawemeyer Awards.

Jennifer Morton, the Presidential Penn Compact Associate Professor of Philosophy in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, is the recipient of the Grawemeyer Award in Education. This award recognizes Dr. Morton’s work on the ethical sacrifices made by first-generation and low-income university students.

Dr. Morton was honored for her book Moving Up Without Losing Your Way: The Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility (Princeton University Press, 2019). The dream of achieving success by attending college is deeply flawed for some, says Dr. Morton, a first-generation college student who left Peru to attend Princeton. Drawing on her own experience, philosophical and social science research and interviews with first-generation, low-income, and immigrant students, she found the college experience often forces students to turn away from family and friends to achieve academic success.

Dr. Morton is a graduate of Princeton University. She earned a Ph.D. at Stanford University.

Kelly Brown Douglas, dean of the Union Theological Seminary’s Episcopal Divinity School in New York City, has been awarded the Grawemeyer Award for Religion. She was honored for her book Resurrection Hope: A Future Where Black Lives Matter (Orbis, 2021). “Douglas takes us on a captivating, painful journey with personal and erudite reflections on America’s corrupted soul,” said Tyler Mayfield, the Grawemeyer Religion Award director. “Her insights are lucid and disturbing. Her remedies are bold and constructive. May we find the courage to walk into the future she envisions for us all.”

Dr. Douglas also serves as a canon theologian at Washington Cathedral. She is one of the first Black female Episcopal priests in the United States and the first Black person to head an Episcopal Church-affiliated educational institution.

Dr. Douglas is a graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where she majored in psychology. She holds a master of divinity degree and a doctorate in systematic theology from the Union Theological Seminary.

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