Mary Frances Berry is the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of more than a dozen books, including History Teaches Us to Resist: Ho Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times (Beacon Press, 2018) and Five Dollars and A Pork Chop Sandwich: Vote Buying and the Corruption of Democracy (Beacon Press, 2016), and We Are Who We Say We Are: A Black Family’s Search for Home across the Atlantic World (Oxford University Press, 2014).
Berry has had a distinguished career in public service, including almost a quarter century as a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights with almost half that time as chair of the commission. She also served as the Assistant Secretary for Education in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare during the Carter administration. Her activism has also earned her widespread recognition. She has received many awards and honorary degrees from universities and scholarly organizations, as well as the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In 2013, she received the Nelson Mandela Award from the South African government, for her leading role in organizing the anti-apartheid Free South Africa Movement.
Berry also served as the Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Provost of the University of Maryland.