November 9, 2015

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

Dr. Leslie S. Jones Discusses Untangling Human Diversity from the Social Construction of Race Nov. 18

Pictured is Dr. Leslie S. Jones, associate professor in the Department of Biology at Valdosta State University and series organizer.

VALDOSTA – Dr. Leslie S. Jones, associate professor in the Department of Biology at Valdosta State University, will present Untangling Human Diversity from the Social Construction of Race from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Whitehead Auditorium. Admission is free of charge and open to the public.

Jones said her talk “…is going to examine how biological science was originally misused to support the ideas that formed racial hierarchies, even though that ‘evidence’ was not valid. I plan to show…that race is not a legitimate biological term by documenting the many ways that modern DNA evidence has proven that there are no discrete genetic divisions among human geographical groups.”

Jones also said she will explore the reasons this information is less popular than the propagation of the social construction of race in today’s culture. She promises that the scientific information will be presented in a way that is easy to understand.

Jones has taught at VSU since 2004. She is considered an expert on the subjects of race, gender, and marginalization in the natural sciences and has shared her knowledge through conferences, presentations, and peer-reviewed books, chapters, and journal publications.

“I am, by training, an equine reproductive physiologist, but I no longer study horses,” shared Jones. “An interest in educational equity prompted me to move into science education with a commitment to anti-racist approaches to science teaching. The other focus of my current research is developing ways to minimize the evolution/creationism controversy and promote the teaching of biological evolution.”

Jones’s talk is the last in a four-part series of presentations collectively known as A Complex and Tangled History: Courageous Conversations about Race.

The event will begin with a 45-minute presentation, followed by a 45-minute question-and-answer/discussion session. Doors open at 7 p.m.

“This event has been organized as a university/community event, also referred to as a Town and Gown,” said Jones, who organized the series. “We hope that any interested member in the community will join us.”

Jones said the series was initiated by students and faculty members as an academic approach to the challenge of addressing all forms of racism in the United States.

Whitehead Auditorium is located on the first floor of the VSU Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

Contact the African American Studies Program at (229) 249-4843 or Dr. Leslie S. Jones at or (229) 219-1337 for more information.

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