Roland Fryer: Racial Differences in Police Use of Force

The Economics Department and the Division of Student Life are very pleased to announce that Dr. Roland Fryer, Professor of Economics at Harvard University, will be giving a talk on his recent work. Fryer, the subject of the article, “From the hood to Harvard” (Economist, 2 May 2015) and collaborator on Freakonomics (2005, Harper Perennial). This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Fryer is a recent winner of the John Bates Clark Medal given awarded by the American Economic Association and widely regarded as the precursor to winning the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Funding for this event is provided by the Economics Department’s Morrison Lecture Fund and the Dean of Student Life.

Roland Fryer

Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Award-winning Harvard economist, education activist and collaborator on the bestselling book Freakonomics, Roland Fryer is a superstar. He is the 2015 winner of the highly esteemed John Bates Clark Medal for being the most promising economist in America under the age of 40

He has concrete solutions for fixing failing schools in America and is on a mission to make a difference. Named a "Rising Star" by Fortune magazine and featured in Esquire’s "Genius Issue," Fryer noted that his rise to success happened "through the medium of education and through the idea of the mind."

The story of Fryer's life is an inspiration, as he overcame a grim childhood — including being exposed to drugs, crime, and parental abandonment — to become the youngest African-American ever to receive tenure from Harvard. But Fryer is tired of people telling him that he "beat the odds" when he knows that with the proper guidance and tools, every child in America can have an opportunity for success. Because of his personal experiences, Fryer has dedicated his life to changing the odds for all children across America.

Fryer, also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, is also the founder and faculty director of the Education Innovation Laboratory at Harvard, and a former junior fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows — one of academia’s most prestigious research posts.

At thirty, he became the youngest African-American to receive tenure from Harvard. He has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation and the inaugural Alphonse Fletcher Award.

Fryer served as chief equality officer at the New York City Department of Education from 2007 to 2008. He developed and implemented several innovative ideas on student motivation and teacher pay-for-performance concepts. He won a Titanium Lion at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival for the Million Motivation Campaign. Fryer has published papers on the racial achievement gap, causes and consequences of distinctively black names, affirmative action, the impact of the crack cocaine epidemic, historically black colleges and universities, and acting white.

Fryer is a 2009 recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He appears on the “2009 Time 100,” Time magazine’s annual list of the world’s most influential people. In 2011, he was awarded a MacArthur “Genius Grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In 2012, he was awarded the Calvó-Armengol Prize, which is one of the most prestigious prizes recognizing young economists and social scientists.