Light & Verity

Board of education

A skateboarding sociologist comes to campus.

Rachele Honcharik

Rachele Honcharik

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The Yale Schwarzman Center, whose facilities in Commons and Memorial Hall open this fall, promises to be “a center for student life and the arts that encourages social cohesion, creativity, and self-expression.” That last part sounds right up the alley of Neftalie Williams, a sociologist who will be the center’s Visiting Fellow in Race, Culture, and Community this year. Williams has devoted his career to examining and documenting the culture of skateboarding communities—particularly the less-known history of skateboarders of color. He has coauthored studies demonstrating the benefits of the sport in building resilience and community. At Yale, he’s planning a series of lectures and discussions with an eye to providing “an opportunity for students to see their skateboarding experience reflected through the university, but also as a way to connect to the New Haven and Connecticut community.”

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