Guest speaker to discuss race, right to vote


Ric S. Sheffield, professor of sociology and legal studies at Kenyon College, will discuss “Race and the Right to Vote in Ohio: A New Look at the Old Struggle for Inclusion” when he speaks March 18 at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Sheffield’s presentation – Ohio Wesleyan’s 2020 Butler A. Jones Lecture on Race and Society – will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 301 of OWU’s Merrick Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. The event is free and open to the public.

A lawyer, Sheffield’s research focuses upon the relationship between the law and issues of gender, race, and ethnicity. He has published articles and reviews on topics including the right to a fair trial, free speech and press, and African American social and legal history. Currently, he is completing a manuscript on voting rights cases in Ohio in the late 1860s and early 1870s.

Sheffield earned his bachelor’s and law degrees at Case Western Reserve University. Before becoming a professor at Kenyon, he served 10 years as an assistant attorney general for the State of Ohio, working as a civil rights attorney, and later as chief of the state’s consumer protection division.

Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology established the annual Butler A. Jones Lectureship on Race and Society in 1995 in honor of Jones, Ph.D., a former sociology/anthropology faculty member. In contributing to the quest for equality among races, Jones submitted 10 briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in cases involving equal treatment of all citizens.

Learn more about the lecture series and department at


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