Abigail & Stephan Thernstrom 2007 Bradley Prize Recipient

Stephan Thernstrom is the Winthrop Professor of History at Harvard University. Abigail is vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Both are also Senior Fellows at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. The Thernstroms are coauthors of No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning for which they were awarded the 2007 Fordham Foundation prize “for distinguished scholarship.”

They previously co-authored America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible, praised as a “masterwork” by Hoover Institution Research Fellow Shelby Steele. The Thernstroms are also the editors of Beyond the Color Line: New Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity. Currently, they are writing a book tentatively titled Don’t Call It Segregation: The Myth of American Apartheid.

Abigail also serves on the board of advisors of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. She was a member of the Massachusetts state Board of Education for more than a decade until her third term ended in November 2006. Since publication in 1987 of her award-winning Whose Votes Count? Affirmative Action and Minority Voting Rights, Abigail has been a leader in the movement to restore and uphold equal protection of the law irrespective of group identity. She is currently completing the book Voting Rights and Wrongs: The Elusive Quest for Racially Fair Elections. A scholar of American social history, Stephan has contributed to the body of knowledge on liberty and opportunity in the American political and social order. Stephan is the award-winning author of several books on American history and has written widely in opinion journals for general audiences. In 2002, President Bush appointed him to the National Council on the Humanities.

Both independently and collaboratively, the Thernstroms have advanced the principles of equal citizenship, equality of opportunity, and civic responsibility. Theirs has been a much-needed voice of reason in American discourse.

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