Faculty in the News

Sharon L. Davies Media Hits

The following is a list of selected media coverage for Sharon L. Davies. The links below will direct you to sites that are not affiliated with the Moritz College of Law. They are subject to change, and some may expire or require registration as time passes.


Spelman College names Sharon Davies Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs

April 16, 2017

News of Professor Sharon Davies’ new position at Spelman College as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs appeared in CBS46. Davies officially assumes the role in June.

"Ms. Davies joins Spelman at an exciting time in the college’s history as we are formulating a strategic plan that will profoundly impact Spelman's academic future and assesses the 21st century skills and knowledge our students require to be leaders in the global community,” Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell said.

Sharon Davies Named Spelman College Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

February 14, 2017

Professor Sharon Davies was mentioned in a Marketwired press release regarding her recent appointment to provost and vice president of academic affairs at Spelman College, effective in June.

Davies is currently vice provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer for The Ohio State University, as well as director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity. She has spent 22 years on the faculty of the Moritz College of Law and currently serves as the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

"Ms. Davies' distinguished record of scholarship and leadership in higher education and beyond will further advance the College,” Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell said. “As we seek to heighten the intellectual experience, global impact of Spelman women, and career horizons for our students, her experiences will allow her to effectively lead the College's academic functions with insight, creativity, and innovation in the dynamic and rapidly changing higher education environment."

Loss of center leaves Ohio State's Latinos feeling overlooked

February 9, 2016

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch article about Ohio State's Latino student population:

More than 2,200 Latino students are enrolled at Ohio State University, nearly twice as many as 10 years before. They used to be able to gather in a budding, if unofficial, Latino center and not worry about immigration status or fitting in. But the center's space-sharing arrangement fell through, the center has fallen apart and Latino students say they feel overlooked.

University officials have held a series of meetings lately with Latino student leaders seeking more support. One request is key: "They're really making it clear that they would like to have an official space," said Sharon Davies, vice president of diversity and inclusion for Ohio State.

A century ago, a popular Missouri newspaper demonized a religious minority: Catholics

December 15, 2015

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in a Los Angeles Times article about the prevalence of an anti-Catholic newspaper based in southwest Missouri in 1915 that had one of the largest readerships in the country at the time. Hatred had become big business in southwestern Missouri, and its name was the Menace, a weekly anti-Catholic newspaper whose headlines screamed to readers around the nation about predatory priests, women enslaved in convents and a dangerous Roman Catholic plot to take over America.

Today, there are calls for federal surveillance of mosques in the name of preventing terrorist attacks; a century ago, it was state laws that allowed the warrantless search of convents and churches in search of supposedly trapped women and purported secret Catholic weapons caches.

"I see huge parallels," said Sharon Davies, executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University. "I think we haven't seen anything quite like this since the beginning of the 20th century, when we passed laws that permitted the Catholics to be treated in ways that no other religious group was treated."

OSU rally ends with statement signed by administrators

November 18, 2015

Professor Sharon Davies was mentioned in a Toledo Blade article about a student rally held on campus in support of students protesting racism at the University of Missouri. Davies is the university's chief diversity officer.

Ohio State Aims To Improve Diversity On Campus

November 17, 2015

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in a WOSU Public Radio story on a protest on campus that was fueled by recent events at the University of Missouri.

At Hale Hall, the university’s Black Cultural Center, Sharon Davies is in her fourth month as OSU’s chief diversity officer.

“We just haven’t yet succeeded in enrolling a critical mass of African American students," Davies said. 

Davies said diversity improves education, and breaks stereotypes.

“The perception that African Americans are good at some things and not others, are great athletes, but maybe not a future neurosurgeon, those are wrong," she said. "And those are the kinds of things that are created when we see more African American students here in certain roles and not enough in our seats in law school, in medical school, in the Fisher College of Business.”

While better schools and lower tuition could help more African American students go to college, Davies said enrollment is key.  The more black students on campus, the more African American students will want to come.

“We don’t reach critical mass until we admit more students from underrepresented minority groups to Ohio State,"she said. "So I don’t let myself off the hook for that. That’s going to be an important part of my job.”

Davies said the spotlight students are shining on the lack of the diversity across college campuses has renewed the push for OSU to do better. 

Ohio State sit-in yields joint statement

November 17, 2015

Professor Sharon Davies, who also serves as the university's chief diversity officer, was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch article that covered a rally against racism on campus. The rally was organized by the student group OSU2Mizzou.  Davies marched with the students and signed released statement, which said in part:

“Ohio State aims to be a leader in creating a campus that is safe and welcoming for all members of our community. The administration understands that, despite our efforts to cultivate a just and equitable environment, students, faculty, and staff still experience racism. The stories echoed across the country underscore the urgency for change from the University of Missouri to our own campus.

“Students have immense power to change the world. Together, we are committed to moving forward in the fight for justice with the help of all concerned Buckeyes.”



Bexley Public Library to host civil rights gathering

October 8, 2014

Professor Sharon Davies was mentioned in a Columbus Dispatch article on a civil rights event at the Bexley Library being held Oct. 23. Davies will speak at the event.

Memorial Mass honors Catholic priest gunned down by Methodist minister in 1921

August 5, 2013

Professor Sharon Davies was mentioned in an article in The Birmingham News about a memorial Mass for a Catholic priest, the Rev. James E. Coyle, who was shot by the Rev. Edwin Stephenson, who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Davies researched and wrote about the historic murder trial in her book ''Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race and Religion in America."

Sharon Davies commentary: Food stamps are vital to lifting people out of poverty

July 19, 2013

Professor Sharon Davies wrote an op-ed for The Columbus Dispatch, discussing the importance of food stamps. Recently, Davies said, the House voted to unhitch the nation’s food stamp program (the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) from the farm bill, undoing the compromise that has long ensured the passage of both pieces of legislation. She wrote about her first-hand experience living in a family that struggles to support itself, as her mother only finished high school and her father stopped at sixth grade, making it difficult for them to find work. She wrote that help from outside sources were what kept her family afloat.

"But for the social safety nets that surrounded our family, I don’t know what would have become of us. There was a food pantry that supplied staples: powdered milk and instant potatoes. There was a fuel-assistance program that forgave a portion of the cost of the oil that warmed our Massachusetts home on the coldest winter nights. I was vaguely aware that a local dentist and a family doctor in town cared for us first and then permitted my mother to write checks when she “had it.” At Christmastime, my brothers and sisters and I would wait excitedly for a truck loaded with red-mesh stockings stuffed with oranges and trinkets. Like magic, it showed up in our town center year after year."

Experts: Racism More Subtle Today

July 15, 2013

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in an NBC4 article about racism in America today in the context of the confrontation between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. She said Zimmerman's actions may have been brought on by an unconscious bias, as racism in America today is more subtle.

"We made it through the civil rights era and we think of those scenes as racism - that's what it looked like and we don't see that anymore," Davies said. "So we convince ourselves that race doesn't operate on the human mind but the reality is that race does shape judgments about individuals."

Supreme Court sidesteps big affirmative-action ruling

June 25, 2013

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted by The Columbus Dispatch about the recent Supreme Court decision to pass the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case to a lower appeals court. Davies said the decision strengthens the consideration of affirmative action.

“I think, if anything, what the court’s decision does today is, it reaffirms the pursuit … of race-conscious admissions practices,” Davies said.

How the Supreme Court Fisher v. University of Texas Ruling on Affirmative Action Affects Ohio State University Admissions

June 24, 2013

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in an article by NPR affiliate State Impact. The article focuses on the impact of the 7-1 decision in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case regarding affirmative action. The decision did not offer a definite opinion on whether race is a valid point to use when considering students for admission, which Davies said was not ideal.

“It’s almost remarkable for how much it doesn’t do,” she said of the decision.

Students React to Charges

April 11, 2012

Professor Sharon Davies was interviewed by Columbus ABC affiliate Channel 6 after charges were filed against George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin killing case.

Priest's slaying in Birmingham to be remembered in church service

February 20, 2012

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in a Birmingham News article about a service remembering the death of Priest James Coyle, who was murdered for marrying a white, protestant woman to a Catholic of Puerto Rican dissent in the 1920s.  Davies' book - Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race and Reli­gion in America - and a recent public TV documentary about the killing have brought renewed attention to Coyle's death and the trial that followed.

OSU annouces new Kirwan Institute director

December 16, 2011

Professor Sharon Davies was featured in an article in The Columbus Dispatch. Davies recently was selected as the next director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, replacing Kirwan's founding executive director -- and outgoing Moritz law professor -- john powell.

EWTN interviews author of 'Rising Road'

July 20, 2011

Professor Sharon Davies was interviewed by Fr. Mitch Pacwa of ETWN, the Global Catholic Network, about her book "Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America."

Questions over citizenship a legacy of American slavery

May 15, 2011

Professor Sharon Davies wrote an opinion editorial column in the Sunday Cleveland Plain Dealer discussing the long-history of questioning the citizenship of African-Americans in the United States and the link this has to the release of President Obama's birth certificate.

When America feared and reviled Catholics

October 10, 2010

Professor Sharon Davies recently published an Op-Ed in the L.A. Times about religion in America. The story states: “The anti-Catholic fever of the 1920s was not a regional story; it was an American story, extending north, east and west, casting Catholics as second-class citizens for decades. It didn't truly end for another 40 years, when presidential candidate John F. Kennedy felt compelled to say directly that his allegiance was to the United States, not the pope. Today, the worst of the anti-Catholic fervor might simply be an embarrassment, were the consequences less dire and were there not so many signs that we haven't learned from our mistakes.”

Sharon Davies: On the Rise

September 14, 2010

Professor Sharon Davies was featured in a Columbia Law School Magazine article about her book, Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America. The book is about the true story of an 18-year-old white girl whose father was a Methodist minister in Birmingham, Ala. She secretly converted to Catholicism and married a 42-year-old Puerto Rican man. Outraged at the interracial marriage her father and fatally shot the priest who had conducted the wedding ceremony. Davies said: “The story was so powerful that I thought it had the potential to educate a broader audience about [a part of history] we have largely forgotten.”

Author to read from book on racially-charged court case

August 4, 2010

Professor Sharon Davies was featured in a Call & Post article promoting her upcoming discussion at the Thurber House Summer Picnic downtown discussing her book “Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America.” The book is about one of the most notorious criminal cases of the early 20th century. On Aug. 11, 1921, in Birmingham, Ala., a Methodist minister named Edwin Stephenson shot and killed a Catholic priest, James Coyle, in broad daylight because Coyle married Stephenson’s Methodist daughter to a Catholic immigrant. Davies’ discussion will be on the anniversary of Coyle’s death, August 11.

1921 slaying of Catholic priest gets renewed interest

May 27, 2010

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in a story by the Religion News Service regarding a 1921 murder that she discussed in her recent book, Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race and Religion in America.The story states: “‘It’s a good thing to remember where he began,’ Davies said. ‘It gives us a greater appreciation for where he ended up. It reflected the movement of the nation.’”

Professor explores bigotry behind 1921 murder of priest

April 11, 2010

Professor Sharon Davies’ book, Rising Road, was reviewed in the Sunday edition of the Columbus Dispatch. The review states: “Davies' fascinating book is an excellent work of narrative history. Rising Road deserves a wide audience.”

Birmingham priest's 1921 slaying revisited in new documentary and book

April 10, 2010

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in a Brimingham News story about her new book, Rising Road. The story states: “In her book ‘Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race and Religion in America,’ Ohio State University law professor Sharon Davies digs deep into the 1921 slaying of a Catholic priest in Birmingham. The Rev. James E. Coyle, who had been pastor of St. Paul's Cathedral since 1904, was shot to death on the porch of the wood-frame rectory, the priest's house next to the cathedral, on Aug. 11, 1921. ‘There are so many things about this story that are really compelling,’ Davies said. She said she stumbled across the case while doing research for a law journal article. ‘When I found it, I was absolutely captivated by it. This story needed to be told. We can't afford to forget this.’”

Love and Race in the Early 20th Century

March 22, 2010

Professor Sharon Davies’ book Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race and Religion in America received a favorable review from The Cutting Edge. The review states: “Rising Road is a story of another time, but it is very much a story for our own.”

Writers Talk

March 22, 2010

Professor Sharon Davies discussed her new book Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race and Religion in America on Ohio State’s “Writer’s Talk” radio show.

AG Holder didn't reveal all legal papers to Senate

March 13, 2010

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in an Associated Press story about Attorney General Eric Holder not disclosing all the legal papers he had signed or written while in practice before being confirmed. The story states: “Sharon Davies, a law professor at Ohio State University who also signed that brief, said the paper's core argument was that ‘there's no bait-and-switch allowed by police officers. They can't deliberately withhold those warnings.’”

Failure to follow law has consequences

November 9, 2009

Professor Sharon Davies published in Opinion Editorial in the Columbus Dispatch about the Louisiana justice of the peace who refused to marry an interracial couple. The editorial stated: “When resigning, Bardwell told a reporter that he "would probably do the same thing again." Louisiana is well rid of him. But efforts should be made to discover others in positions of authority who countenanced his misdeeds. According to news reports, Bardwell turned away at least four other interracial couples over the past few years. The rule of law demands an accounting.”

'Hello freedom'

August 12, 2008

Professor Sharon Davies was mentioned in a Columbus Dispatch story about a man who was released from prison after 18 years. It was recently determined that he was not the person who committed a child rape in 1990. “In Ohio, there's generally a 20-year deadline on charging somebody with rape, which means the real attacker likely still could be prosecuted, said Sharon L. Davies, an Ohio State University law professor.”

Child advocates’ testimony on trial

October 10, 2006

Professor Sharon Davies is quoted in this Columbus Dispatch story on social workers speaking for kids. Davis said the exception for medical purposes "already implicitly assumes that those talking to their doctors are competent. The person seeking treatment or a diagnosis knows what happened ... and is probably the most competent person to be making those kinds of statements to a medical professional." Further, she said the exception fits a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows such testimony if the victim does not know the statement would likely be used in court. "It’s hard to believe a child could make that connection," she said, "especially the very young."

Confession questioned

August 19, 2006

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in this Associated Press story that appeared in the London Free Press on the confession of John Mark Karr in the JonBenet Ramsey murder. "He seemed convinced that what he said would make him guilty of a lesser crime," said Davies. This quote also appeared in "More questions arise in JonBenet case" (WIStv.com - Columbia, S.C.) and "Questions arise from suspect’s claims in JonBenet Ramsey case" (The Tribune - Greeley, Colo.).

Did Karr kill JonBenet? Innocent have falsely confessed before

August 19, 2006

In this Associated Press story from The Albuquerque Tribune on the confession of John Mark Karr in the JonBenet Ramsey murder, professor Sharon Davies is noted as saying that the assertion may be an attempt to avoid charges of first-degree murder. Her comments also appeared in "Did he really kill JonBenet?" (Detroit Free Press).

A '600-pound gorilla' looms large - DNA

August 18, 2006

In a Rocky Mountain News story on the concern that John Mark Karr's confession in the murder of JonBenet Ramsey is false, professor Sharon Davies says that most people confess to crimes because they committed the crimes. "Nothing gets as high profile as JonBenet," Davies said. "In these cases, one can get information about the crime from watching the news."

Suspect's answers raise questions about credibility

August 18, 2006

Professor Sharon Davies' comments are noted in this USA Today story on the confession of John Karr in the JonBenet Ramsey murder. Davies said the timing of Karr's statements don't seem to fit the classic model of a liar — a suspect who gives false information shortly after the crime, usually after intense questioning over an extended period.

Lawyers, lawmakers' roles conflict in scandal probe

October 3, 2005

In this AP story printed in the Akron Beacon Journal, Professor Sharon Davies is quoted about legitimate concerns that have risen from prosecutors' request that lawmakers keep their hands off an investigation into Ohio's government scandal. Davies said "a task force of county and federal prosecutors want top lawmakers to avoid hearings on the scandal out of fear such hearings could provide immunity from criminal prosecution." Legislative hearings are "a very effective tool for legislators," said Davies. "It just is one that happens to create problems for prosecutors."

Supreme Court widens drug searches; Justices say dog may be used even if traffic stop isn't for drugs

January 25, 2005

In a Pittsburgh Post Gazette story about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that police can turn a drug-sniffing dog loose on a car whose drive was stopped for speeding without violating the constitutional ban on unreasonable search and seizure, Associate Dean Sharon Davies said that it did not answer the question of whether it was constitutional to have canine units sniff parked cars.