Dr. Rashawn Ray is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research at the University of Maryland, College Park.
He is also one of the co-editors of Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public. Formerly, Ray was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.
Ray’s research addresses the mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequality with a particular focus on police-civilian relations and men’s treatment of women. His work also speaks to ways that inequality may be attenuated through racial uplift activism and social policy. Ray has published over 40 books, articles, book chapters, and op-eds. Recently, Ray published the book How Families Matter: Simply Complicated Intersections of Race, Gender, and Work (with Pamela Braboy Jackson) and another edition of Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy, which has been adopted nearly 40 times in college courses.
Ray has written for New York Times, Huffington Post, NBC News, The Conversation, and Public Radio International. Ray has appeared on HLN, Al Jazeera, NPR, Fox, and MSNBC. His research is cited in CNN, Washington Post, Associated Press, MSN, The Root, and The Chronicle. Previously, Ray served on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington Planning Committee and the Commission on Racial Justice with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Ray has been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Ford Foundation, American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Program, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Ray was selected as UMD Research Communicator of the Year in 2016, 40 Under 40 Prince George’s County in 2014, Outstanding Black Male Leader of Tomorrow for the city of Bloomington, IN in 2010, and the Co-Chair of the Ford Foundation Scholars Conference in 2015. He has been awarded mentorship awards from the Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Program, Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program, and the Departments of Sociology at the University of Maryland and Indiana University.
A native of Murfreesboro, TN, Ray graduated from Riverdale High School in 1999 and the University of Memphis in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a minor in Women’s Studies, and a concentration in film. Ray was selected as a Visiting Scholar and Lecturer at the University of Mannheim in 2008 and previously worked as the Outreach Coordinator for the Office for Women’s Affairs at Indiana University, the Coordinator of the Critical Race Initiative, and the Associate Research Director for the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity.