October 29, 2022

A Patchwork of Inequality: The Politics of Racial Inequity across the United States

Class Details

A Patchwork of Inequality: The Politics of Racial Inequity across the United States

Closed. No longer accepting applications.

As people move from state to state, county to county, or even city to city, the political and policy resources they can access may fluctuate. The services that people may be able to gain access to are not necessarily dictated by what they need or even what they are seemingly entitled to as citizens, but instead by where they live. Furthermore, the rights and privileges that people may enjoy in one place may not mimic those in a neighboring place. These dynamics produce a patchwork of inequality across the United States. One needn’t look any further than access to the ballot, abortion care, or high-quality public education as examples of the peaks and valleys of (in)equality and (in)equity in the United States. This variation across and within the United States can best be understood by “federalism,” a system foundational to the way that American politics works and the underlying mechanism of the fluctuations we see in rights, privileges, resources, and inequality across the country.



  • Enrollment through your home campus; contact your local OSLEP campus coordinator for information
  • OSLEP provides all required reading materials at no additional cost-NO books to buy!
  • Housing and meals provided
  • In-person residential seminar
Start Date
October 29, 2022
End Date
November 2, 2022
University of Oklahoma, Norman
Course Credits
Application Deadline
Dr. Candis Watts Smith, Associate Professor of Political Science, Duke University


Dr. Candis Watts Smith, Associate Professor of Political Science

Duke University

Professor Smith’s expertise highlights race and ethnicity’s role in shaping the American political landscape. Her research agenda illuminates the ways in which demographic dynamics influence citizens’ and denizens’ of the U.S. understanding of their own identity, their political attitudes, and their policy preferences.

Smith applies the knowledge gained from research to speak to issues that influence real people, including the effects racial attitudes on American politics, diversity issues, and access to resources that ought to be distributed equitably.

​Prior to her appointment at Duke University, she was a member of the Departments of Political and African American Studies at Penn State. She is a co-host of the Democracy Works Podcast and a TEDx alumna.

Class Prep

Further Resources