Gooden’s Book Selected as Winner of the Herbert Simon Award
June 9, 2020
Congratulations to VCU Wilder School Dean Susan Gooden, Ph.D. on her book, Race and Social Equity: A Nervous Area of Government, being selected as the winner of the Herbert Simon Best Book Award from the Public Administration section of the American Political Science Association. The purpose of the Simon Award is to recognize a text that has had an enduring impact on the public administration community within the past five years. Gooden’s work was chosen because of its proven ability to shape the discussion of race in the context of public administration.
"The Simon Award is unusual, in that allows us to look back and evaluate which books had the greatest impact over a five-year period. The selection committee was impressed at how Race and Social Equity has influenced subsequent scholarship. Even as the field of public administration and social science more broadly has struggled with the challenge, Gooden reframes how issues of race and inequality are negotiated in government settings." – Don Moynihan, Award Committee Chair of the PA Section of ASPA
In the book published in 2014, Gooden contends that social equity--specifically racial equity--is a nervous area of government. Over the course of history, this nervousness has stifled many individuals and organizations, thus leading to an inability to seriously advance the reduction of racial inequities in government. She asserts that until this nervousness is effectively managed, public administration social equity efforts designed to reduce racial inequities cannot realize their full potential.
“It is truly an honor to receive the Herbert Simon Best Book Award from the Public Administration section of APSA. I am pleased that the book has made a real contribution to understanding and overcoming institutional racism in government,” said Gooden. “These are important issues for public servants with authentic consequences on the citizens and residents they serve.”