Guest Speaker Bio – Dr. Rashawn Ray

Dr. Rashawn Ray is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Previously, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley/University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ray’s research addresses the mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequality. His work also speaks to ways that inequality may be attenuated through racial uplift activism and social policy.

Currently, Dr. Ray is working on three projects centered on the intersections of race, class, and gender. The first project examines racial differences in barriers and incentives to physical activity among the middle class as well as the health consequences of aging single. The second project investigates how perceived body size shapes race and class differences in the mental, physical, and sexual health of girls and young women. The third project explores the impact school gardens have on academic achievement, nutritional knowledge, and civic engagement among children in 90 elementary schools in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ray is the editor of Race and Ethnic Relations in the Twenty-First Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy. His work has appeared in Ethnic and Racial Studies, American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Journal of Higher Education, and Journal of African American Studies. He has been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Program, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Ford Foundation. Dr. Ray has taught at Indiana University and the University of Mannheim-Germany. He has also served on the 50th Anniversary March on Washington planning committee, currently serves on the Commission for Racial Justice for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times. He received a doctoral degree in sociology from Indiana University.