October 4, 2011

Sharon Davies, author, Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America

The Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion presents Sharon Davies, author of Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America on Thursday, October 6, at 7 p.m. in the LSC Conference Room of the D.J. Lombardo Student Center.

Sharon Davies is the John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Designated Professor of Law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She earned her Juris Doctor from the Columbia University School of Law in New York. Davies was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a Notes and Comments Editor of The Columbia Law Review while in law school at Columbia. Davies served for five years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, where she directed investigations of, and prosecuted, domestic and international violations of federal criminal law at trial and appellate levels, including bank fraud, money laundering, public corruption, income tax evasion, mail and wire fraud, racketeering, and narcotics trafficking.

Davies will discuss her recently published book, Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America. The book examines bigotry behind the 1921 murder of a Catholic priest. In Rising Road, Davies recounts the revenge murder of Catholic priest, James Coyle, by a minister named Edwin Stephenson. Stephenson was upset that Coyle had married Stephenson’s 18-year-old daughter Ruth – who had secretly converted to Catholicism three months earlier – to Pedro Gussman, a Puerto Rican migrant and practicing Catholic. The murder of Father Coyle and the trial of Rev. Stephenson that followed are resurrected by Davies. The case demonstrated the bigotries of the time period and a hatred not only of African Americans, but of Catholics and foreigners as well. Davies explores the social and historical context, bringing to life a heinous crime and its aftermath, with an in-depth examination of the consequences of prejudice in the Jim Crow era.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact John Carroll’s Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion at extension 4185.