Grandson Endows Morris Fromkin Memorial Research Grant and Lecture

Dan Soyer
Daniel Soyer

The UWM Libraries are deeply grateful to Daniel Soyer, a grandson of Morris Fromkin, who has created an endowment for the research grant and lecture series that bears his grandfather’s name.

Morris Fromkin, who practiced law first in Milwaukee and later New York, was a lifelong friend and supporter of people and movements seeking social justice in the twentieth century. After his death in 1969, his immediate family established the Morris Fromkin Memorial Collection, as well as a Research Grant and Lecture, which was inaugurated in 1970.

Daniel Soyer has pledged to make a gift of $50,000 over multiple years to support the Morris Fromkin Research Grant and Lecture Fund.

The Fromkin Grant has encouraged and assisted UWM faculty and staff members from a variety of disciplines in their research on individuals, groups, movements, and ideas that have influenced the quest for social justice and human rights.

Dan Soyer and Morris Fromkin
Morris Fromkin and his grandson Daniel Soyer. Photos courtesy Daniel Soyer.

Over the series’ five decades, topics have ranged widely, from the forging of identity in Milwaukee’s Latino immigrant community, to the intellectual origins of the “Wisconsin Idea,” to YouTube-based Afro-Brazilian social justice activism. Occasionally, important contributors to the cause of social justice from outside the university are invited to speak, and have included US Senator Russ Feingold and US Congresswoman Gwen Moore.

The Fromkin Grant is the only UWM Libraries grant that supports original research and scholarship by UWM faculty and staff. Grant recipients have come from history, art and design, economics, geography, African and African diaspora studies, communication, architecture, criminal justice, and many other departments and units at UWM.

“We are very appreciative of Daniel for making this meaningful donation in memory of both his grandfather, Morris, and Daniel’s uncle, David Fromkin,” says Director of Libraries Michael Doylen. “His support assures that the grant and lecture will continue to encourage research and community engagement at UWM for many, many years.”

The 2021 Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture will be presented on November 4, 2021 by Anne Bonds, associate professor, UWM Department of Geography, and Derek Handley, assistant professor, UWM Department of English, with Reggie Jackson, journalist and educator/consultant, Nurturing Diversity Partners, LLC, and Lawrence Hoffman, GIS program manager at Groundwork Milwaukee.

The title of their presentation is “Mapping Racism and Resistance in Milwaukee County: Struggles over Racism and Real Estate in the Urban North.”

Dr. Robert S. Smith, Harry G. John Professor of History and Director of the Center for Urban Research at Marquette University, will introduce the lecturers.

This will be the 52nd annual presentation of the Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture. It is the longest-running lecture series on campus.

More information about the 2021 lecture can be found here.