UEP Spring 2016 Conference Speakers

Updated April 19, 2016

Elijah Anderson
William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Sociology
Yale University


Elijah Anderson is one of the leading urban ethnographers in the United States. His publications include Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City (1999), winner of the Komarovsky Award from the Eastern Sociological Society; Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community (1990), winner of the American Sociological Association’s Robert E. Park Award for the best published book in the area of Urban Sociology; and the classic sociological work, A Place on the Corner (1978; 2nd ed., 2003). Anderson’s most recent ethnographic work, The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life, was published by WW Norton in March 2012. Professor Anderson is the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award of the American Sociological Association. 

Luke Anderson
English Teacher and Advisor
Blackstone Academy Charter School


Luke Anderson is presently on the faculty of Blackstone Academy Charter School, Pawtucket, RI, where he teaches 9th grade English, serves as a 9th grade advisor, and works on a Non-Profit Studies Community Improvement Project. Previously, he served for five years as a Program Director for NFTE Chicago, where he oversaw the implementation of educational programs in 46 local schools, and then worked for another five years as a teacher and Chair of the English Department at North Lawndale College Prep High School in Chicago. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University, and is a former graduate fellow in Northwestern University’s Department of Sociology. He is currently completing an ethnographic study of schooling in the North Lawndale community of Chicago.

Duke Austin
Assistant Professor of Sociology
California State University, East Bay

Dr. Duke W. Austin is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University, East Bay. His research and teaching interests focus on the intersection of race, class, gender, and immigration in the United States. Dr. Austin’s most recent publication theorizes that disaster masculinity is a form of hyper-masculinity that can emerge in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Disaster masculinity surfaces when some men choose to engage in gendered violence following a disaster in order to reassert a perceived loss of power and control as the social structures that support masculinity become disorganized. In addition, Dr. Austin is currently completing, with Dr. Patricia Maloney and Dr. SaunJuhi Verma, a research project on immigrant high school students in three US metropolitan areas. Through fieldwork and interviews, the researchers have identified a school-to-prison-to-deportation pipeline that serves as a conduit to deportation for immigrant students. While some teachers and administrators actively work to avoid the pipeline, others use it as a threat to remove “problem children.”

Celia Bense Ferreira Alves
Associate Professor of Sociology
Université Paris 8


Celia Bense Ferreira Alves’s research and teaching interests are at the intersection of urban issues, art, work and occupations. They rely on ethnography and socio-history and take race, class and gender into consideration. She is now investigating the notion of community among theater participants in the San Francisco Bay Area by looking at the local and non-local networks individuals set up to maintain and develop theatrical activity at the level of this metropolis. Among other things, she is studying when and how identification to a specific locale is being claimed and how such a claim affects theater participants’ activities in relation to other claims like identification to an occupational community, to race or gender issues for instance.

Abie Benitez
Columbus Family Academy


Abie Lane Benitez has extensive experience in school administration, instructional coaching and program development. She earned a BA in Psychology, a Masters and advanced degree in Counseling and a Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Benitez’ passion is to create opportunities for teachers to develop skills that will facilitate increase student ownership of the learning process. In addition, historically she has been placed in positions to allow access to the mainstream curriculum for linguistically diverse students. In collaboration with staff and parents Dr. Benitez build a community of learners where students can seize their capacity to learn in a safe environment and their families are partners with educators in 

facilitating this experience.

Tim Bouman
North Lawndale College Prep High School

Tim Bouman has worked in education for twenty-two years, teaching at every level from preschool through Community College (but mostly high school, and mostly ESL and English).  He taught at schools in Indiana, Ukraine, his native New York City, and Tanzania before moving to Chicago in 2005.  For the last ten years he has been at North Lawndale College Prep Charter High School, five years as an English teacher and Department Chair, one year as an AP, and four years as its Principal.  Tim earned his BA at Penn, his MA in TESOL at Columbia University Teachers College, and a Masters in Educational Leadership at Concordia University Chicago.  He is passionate about closing the achievement gap, and preparing all students for successful completion of college. He is also an avid marathon runner and he coaches youth baseball.  His wife, Erin, is a Lutheran pastor and they have two school-aged children. They live in Chicago’s Irving Park neighborhood.

Scott Brooks
Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Missouri

Dr. Scott Brooks is a native of Oakland, CA and earned his bachelor’s degree at Cal Berkeley.  He received his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania while coaching basketball in South Philadelphia. His first book, Black Men Can’t Shoot (University of Chicago, 2009), tells the importance of exposure, networks, and opportunities towards earning an athletic scholarship. Dr. Brooks closely followed two young Black men in South Philadelphia through their high schools and documents their rise –getting known – and social navigation of Philadelphia’s basketball world, complicating the myth of natural athleticism and the recruiting game. He is currently working on three other manuscripts: one regarding coaching, a second on applying sociology to coaching, and a third project that investigates basketball recruiting. 

Kyleen Carpenter
Blackstone Academy Charter School


Kyleen Carpenter is the founding principal of Blackstone Academy Charter School, an urban high school established in 2002. Blackstone is the only urban, non-exam high school in RI to earn a “Commended” distinction from the RI Department of Education for 3 consecutive years (2012-2015). Before opening the school, Kyleen was a Spanish teacher who taught at independent schools in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. For nine summers, she taught in the SPIRIT Educational Program in Providence, RI, where she worked with all 5 of Blackstone’s co-founders. She earned degrees from Amherst College, Harvard University Graduate School of Education and Antioch University (New England campus). As a first-in-the-family to attend and afford college, Kyleen is passionate about helping her students achieve the same, and that has happened hundreds of times over her 14 year career at Blackstone. She lives in Providence, RI. 

Jean-Michel Chapoulie
Professor Emeritus
Université de Paris 8


Jean-Michel Chapoulie, after studies and research in mathematics, taught sociology at the Université de Paris 8, Ecole normale supérieure Fontenay, and Université de Paris 1. With Jean-Pierre Briand, he translated into French Becker’s Outsiders, Don Roy’s famous papers about machine shop operators, and papers from Hughes’ Sociological Eye. He has done research in the sociology of work, the history of American sociology (La tradition sociologique de Chicago, 1892-1961, 2001), French sociology, and the history of French education (L’école d’État conquiert la France, 2010, a book about the development of schooling and state education policy from the beginning of the 19th century). Since the 1980s, he has contributed to the introduction of Chicago style fieldwork in French sociology, supervising PhD theses using this approach. He is currently writing a book of critical reflections about the three main approaches used in social sciences in France and the United States: historical method, fieldwork, and statistics.

Mardia Cooper
College Student
Colby-Sawyer College

Mardia Cooper is a Junior Communications major at Colby-Sawyer College. Upon her acceptance, she received the Progressive Scholarship, a full tuition scholarship for her entire undergraduate career. There she continues to hold several leadership positions including President of the African Students Association and Executive Board Member of the college’s Diversity Advisory Board. She is currently studying away at the Washington Internship Institute in Washington, DC as an intern with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Mardia always possessed a deep passion for issues affecting minorites in America. So much so, she spent her entire senior year of high school researching the effects of Institutional Racism where she gave a formal presentation on her findings.  She continues to use her platform on campus to not only learn more about the issues, but to also inform and encourage others to start the conversation in search for solutions.

Mira Debs
PhD Candidate
Yale University


Mira Debs is a PhD candidate in Sociology department at Yale. Her research examines the experience of black and Latino parents at desirable public schools (in her case, public Montessori) and how school theme contributes to or impedes parent’s sense of belonging in a school community. She is a Junior Fellow at the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology and a Research Fellow at Trinity College’s Cities Suburbs and Schools Project. Her work is published in Cultural Sociology and Nations and Nationalism. She has taught at Yale University and Wesleyan University.

Matthew Desmond
John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences
Harvard University


Matthew Desmond is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences and codirector of the Justice and Poverty Project at Harvard University. A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, he is the author of the award-winning book, On the Fireline, coauthor of two books on race, and editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. His most recent book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, was published in March. Recently, he has also published on the prevalence and consequences of eviction and the low-income rental market, network-based survival strategies among the urban poor, and the consequences of new crime control policies on inner-city women in the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Social Forces, and Demography. Desmond’s work has been supported by the Ford, Russell Sage, and National Science Foundations, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times and The New Yorker. In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.

Charles Doneghan
College Student


Charles Donegan, is a freshman at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. Born and raised on the west side of Chicago, Charles faced quite the great amount of adversity in his life. Charles says, “Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago has taught me the importance of truly being a man. Every move you make, someone is always watching you and being able to set goals for myself and make my family proud is a huge accomplishment.” Charles also had this to reflect on as well, “I was blessed and fortunate enough to have a strong support system every step of my journey through this life I am partaken in and I thank the man himself, Jesus Christ, for keeping me level-headed each and every day.” Charles looks back on where he comes from as a reminder to never forget the core values and beliefs that is instilled within him.

Michel Nguyen Duc Long
Lycée Parc de Vilgénis

A Principal since 2004, Michel Nguyen Duc Long has had different experiences in junior and senior high schools both in priority education zones called réseaux de réussite scolaire (Academic success networks for the underprivileged) and other environments.  He participates in the training of teachers-to-be at the University of Versailles- Saint-Quentin and contributed to the training of education counselors-to-be at the Versailles IUFM (Teachers Training Institution). At the Conference, he will show that being a structurally diverse High School in a Parisian Suburb is not enough to break inequalities. LPO Park –pseudonym, is offering general, technological, as well as vocational training and thus attracting various kinds of student populations. This senior high school however faces strong social and academic inequalities and a persisting deficit of credibility as a successful educational institution. Though LPO Park works at building connections between its diverse populations, improving student achievements relies more on individually monitoring borderline students and steering them into its own higher education training offer.

Waverly Duck
Assistant Professor
University of Pittsburgh


Waverly Duck is an urban sociologist whose primary research examines the social order of neighborhoods and institutional settings. He is currently an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Wayne State University. Upon completion of his Ph.D., Prof. Duck served as a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and held a post-doctoral appointment at Yale University in addition to serving as the associate director of the Yale Urban Ethnography Project where he is currently a Senior Fellow. Prof. Duck has also served as visiting professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at the Waisman Center, a research clinic dedicated to examining childhood psychopathology. While at the Waisman Center, Prof. Duck was selected as an inaugural Morse Fellow, a research and training fellowship dedicated to examining childhood mental health and developmental disabilities.

Michelle Fine
Distinguished Professor of Critical Psychology, Women’s Studies, American Studies and Urban Education
Graduate Center, CUNY

Michelle Fine is a Distinguished Professor of Critical Psychology, Women’s Studies, American Studies and Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Fine taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1981 – 1991, and then came to the Graduate Center. She has authored many “classics” – books and articles on high school push outs, adolescent sexuality – called the “missing discourse of desire,” the national evaluation of the impact of college in prison, the struggles and strength of the children of incarcerated adults, the wisdom of Muslim American youth. A pioneer in the field of youth Participatory Action Research, and a founding faculty member of the Public Science Project, Fine has been involved with a series of participatory studies with youth and elders, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated college students and youth working at the intersections of movements for educational, immigration and juvenile justice.

Vivian Gadsden
William T. Carter Professor of Child Development and Education
University of Pennsylvania


Vivian L. Gadsden is the William T. Carter Professor of Child Development and Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also on the faculties of Africana Studies and of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies; serves as director of the National Center on Fathers and Families; and served as associate director of the National Center on Adult Literacy at Penn. Dr. Gadsden’s conceptual framework, family cultures, has been used widely to examine the interconnectedness among families’ political, cultural, and social histories and racialized identities; social practices; and literacy processes. Her current, collaborative projects include studies of Head Start children’s literacy learning and teacher communities (Evidence-based Program for the Integration of Curricula-EPIC study), family engagement, and parent involvement; young fathers in urban settings; health and educational disparities within low-income communities; children of incarcerated parents; and intergenerational learning within African American and Latino families.

Edmund Gordon
John M. Musser Professor of Psychology, Emeritus
Yale University
Richard March Hoe Professor of Psychology and Education, Emeritus
Teachers College, Columbia University


Dr. Edmund W. Gordon is the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology, Emeritus - Yale University and Richard March Hoe Professor of Psychology and Education, Emeritus - Teachers College, Columbia University. Among Dr. Gordon’s most recent honors is the “Edmund W. Gordon Chair for Policy Evaluation and Research” created by the Educational Testing Service to recognize his lasting contributions to developments in education including Head Start, compensatory education, school desegregation, and supplementary education. Dr. Gordon is cofounder and chairman of The Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment. At the present, he is conducting a conceptual inquiry into the possibilities that measurement science can contribute to alleviating the tension between promoting both equity and the pursuit of excellence in achievement in education in a diverse learner population.

John Hagedorn
Professor of Criminology, Law & Justice
University of Illinois-Chicago


John Hagedorn’s research has persistently challenged conventional theories on gangs. People & Folks refocused gang research by applying Julius Wilson’s underclass theory.  A World of Gangs showed how gangs across the world did not necessarily fit into standard criminological definitions.  His most recent book, The In$ane Chicago Way exposes the role police corruption play in the persistence of gangs.  In$ane challenges Chicago School orthodoxy on the importance of neighborhood and explores the capacity of gangs to build complex organization to organize crime and control violence.  Writing with Meda Chesney-Lind, their edited volume Female Gangs in America questions the value of “boy’s theories for girl’s lives”.  Aside from research and writing Hagedorn has worked as an expert witness in more than 50 gang-related court cases.  He is Professor of Criminology, Law & Justice at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Shaun Harper
Professor in the Graduate School of Education, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies
University of Pennsylvania


Shaun R. Harper studies topics pertaining to race, equity, and student success in U.S. colleges and universities. He is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he founded and serves as executive director of the Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education. He is author of over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic publications, and recipient of nearly $12 million in research grants. Johns Hopkins University Press is publishing Race Matters in College, Dr. Harper’s 13th book. The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chronicle of Higher Education, and over 11,000 other newspapers have quoted Professor Harper and featured his research. He has been interviewed on CNN, ESPN, and NPR, and is President-Elect of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Matthew Hughey
Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Connecticut


Matthew W. Hughey, PhD is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut.  His work focuses on the relationship between racial inequality and collective understandings of race through empirical examinations of (1) white racial identity; (2) racialized organizations; (3) mass media; (4) political engagements, (5) science and technology, and; (6) public advocacy with racism and discrimination.   He is most recently the author of The White Savior Film: Content, Critics, and Consumption (Temple UP, 2014) White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race (Stanford UP, 2012), and has authored over fifty peer-reviewed academic articles, appearing in outlets like The ANNALS of the American Academy of Social and Political Science; Du Bois Review; Ethnic and Racial Studies; Ethnicities; Social Problems, and; Social Psychology Quarterly.

Gerald Jaynes
Professor of Economics & African American Studies
Yale University

Gerald D. Jaynes is professor in the department of Economics and the department of African American Studies at Yale University.  He earned the doctorate in economics from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, 1976.  In addition to his teaching and research duties as a professor at Yale, he has served as a legislative aid to State Senator Cecil A. Partee, President Pro-tem of the Illinois State Senate, 1971-72; assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, and chaired Yale’s Department of African and African American Studies, 1990-1996.  He is recognized as an expert on race relations and the economic conditions of African Americans, and has lectured and spoken on these topics at many universities and forums around the world.  His research has been cited internationally within forums such as legislative bodies and courts including the United States Supreme Court.  Listed in Who’s Who Among African Americans since 1989, he has written extensively for scholarly journals, books and popular essays.

Odis Johnson
Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Studies of the Department of Education an Associate Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Education
Washington University in St. Louisc


Odis Johnson Jr., PhD, is Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Studies of the Department of Education and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Education at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Johnson’s research examines how neighborhoods, schools and public policies relate to social inequality, youth development and the status of African American populations. His work on these topics has earned him the 2013 Outstanding Review of Research Award from the American Educational Research Association, the leading professional association of education research, and the 2015 Outstanding Author Contribution Award in the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence. Grants, including from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, have supported Dr. Johnson’s research, leading to a better understanding of how policies have sought to influence neighborhood differences in school functioning and achievement, and of the policy and residential dynamics related to the status of African American males in particular.

Nikki Jones
Associate Professor of African American Studies
University of California, Berkeley


Nikki Jones is an associate professor in the Department of African American Studies at UC-Berkeley. Her research, writing and teaching focuses on the experiences of African American men, women and youth with the criminal justice system, policing and with various forms of violence. She is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for the Study of Law and Society; the Center for Race and Gender; and the Department of Women and Gender Studies at UC-Berkeley. Professor Jones’ next book, The Chosen Ones: Black Men, Violence and the Politics of Redemption (forthcoming with University of California Press) draws on several years of field research in a San Francisco neighborhood to examine how African American men with criminal histories change their lives, and their place in the neighborhood once they do. Her current research efforts are focused on the systematic analysis of video records that document routine encounters between police and civilians, including young Black men’s frequent encounters with the police.

Michael Klonsky
Education School
DePaul University

Michael Klonsky, Ph.D. teaches in the education school at DePaul University in Chicago and is the national director of the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Innovative Schools. Dr. Klonsky is a teacher educator who has spoken and written extensively on school reform issues with a focus on urban school restructuring. His book (with Susan Klonsky), Small Schools: Public School Reform Meets the Ownership Society (Routledge), is a critique of top-down school reform and the push towards privatization of public schools. He is also the author of Small Schools: The Numbers Tell a Story (University of Illinois Small Schools Workshop) and co-author of A Simple Justice: The Challenge for Teachers in Small Schools (Teachers College Press) and has written dozens of articles on urban education reform.

William Kornblum
Emeritus Professor of Sociology
Graduate Center, CUNY

William Kornblum is a specialist in urban sociology and human ecology. Author of numerous scholarly books and articles on the people of New York, he was the 2005 recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Career Award. Kornblum is currently writing about Marseille, France.  With  Terry Williams   he has also written extensively about urban teenagers. Their books, Growing Up Poor (1985) and Uptown Kids (1995), and numerous articles document the importance of adult mentors and the influence that writing workshops can have on the lives of disadvantaged teenagers.  Kornblum is also the author of Sociology in a Changing World (9th ed.), Social Problems (14th ed.), and At Sea in the City: New York from the Water’s Edge (2002). A native New Yorker, he is a graduate of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and the University of Chicago and was among the nation’s first Peace Corps volunteers.

Vani S. Kulkarni
Lecturer, Department of Sociology
University of Pennsylvania


Vani S. Kulkarni is currently a lecturer on sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a PhD with distinction from the University of Pennsylvania. She has received prestigious awards and has held research fellowships at Penn, Harvard, and Yale. She has also been a consultant for the Asian Development Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development at the United Nations. Her research lies at the intersection of Global Health; Race and Caste; Gender; Identity and Inequality; Development and Democracy; and Education She has published in the ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and in several peer-reviewed journals, has coauthored two books, and her writings have appeared as encyclopedia entries, policy reports for the United Nations, and as op-eds. Her current research constitutes of two distinct research streams, in two diverse cultural contexts: health insurance scheme in India and urban education system in the US.

Gloria Ladson-Billings
Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education
University of Wisconsin-Madison


Gloria Ladson-Billings is the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ladson-Billings is credited with coining the term, “Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” and does work that applies Critical Race Theory to education. She is author of the critically acclaimed book, “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children.” She has authored or edited 9 volumes and more than 100 journal articles and book chapters.

David Lepoutre
Université de Paris X

After his training and several job experiences in housing construction and services, David Lepoutre began teaching History and Geography in a middle school in a working class and multiethnic neighborhood in Paris’s suburb. He worked in this school for ten years and during this period, he took the opportunity to move and to live twenty full months in a housing project from where most of his pupils came. His first book about juvenile street culture was based on this double experience. Recruted in 1997 in a department of sociology, he continued fieldwork in the project and published a second book, about the family memory of immigrant families. During the 2010, having become full professor in the University of Paris-Ouest-La Défense, he published two articles about social history of a haussmanian building. A study based on twenty years of ethnographic observations and private archives of building’s inhabitants.

James Lytle
Adjunct Practice Professor of Educational Leadership
University of Pennsylvania


James H. Lytle (“Torch”) is Adjunct Practice Professor of Educational Leadership at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania.  From 1998-2006 he was superintendent of the Trenton, NJ Public Schools, and from 1970-1998 he served in a variety of capacities in the School District of Philadelphia, including principal, executive director for research, regional superintendent, and assistant superintendent. Lytle has been active in a number of national professional organizations, including the Council of Great City Schools and the American Educational Research Association. His teaching and research interests relate to the efficacy of urban public schools, leadership transitions, and school change. 

Patricia Maloney
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Texas Tech University


Dr. Patricia Maloney is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Texas Tech University. Dr. Maloney’s research addresses the sociology of education and teacher preparation, consequences of charter schools, and the sociology of morality. Her research and teaching focus on aspects of teacher training and attitudes and examine why certain national programs, among them Teach For America, fail or succeed in producing quality teachers. Dr. Maloney has a special interest in qualitatively examining how educators react to (and sometimes circumvent) educational laws and policies that they see as harmful to their students. Specifically, she is currently writing about how teachers cheat on standardized exams, as well as how teachers and administrators actively engage in either keeping immigrant students out of a school-to-prison-to-deportation pipeline or strategically act to use the fear of that pipeline to cause “problem students” to drop out.

Vida Maralani
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Yale  University


Vida Maralani studies social stratification and demography with a focus on education, gender, and health. As an overarching goal, her work shows how social inequality and demography are interrelated, and approaches inequality as a process in motion, rather than a static snapshot. Much of her work examines the role that education plays in organizing social life, in particular how educational attainment is intertwined with other socioeconomic statuses.  She studies educational inequality from a demographic perspective, paying particular attention to how it changes across the life course, generations, or birth cohorts, and relates to family processes such as marriage and fertility. For example, her research shows how education shapes women’s lives with regards to family and work, and the implications of women’s educational gains for educational inequality in future generations. She has also worked extensively on understanding socioeconomic disparities in health, especially the relationship between education and smoking.

Cid Martinez
Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of San Diego


Cid Martinez is an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of San Diego and he is author of the book “The Neighborhood Has Its Own Rules: Latinos and Africans in South Los Angeles”, published by New York University Press. The book focuses on how Latinos and African Americans manage violence in South Los Angeles. His recent work has appeared in media outlets such as CNN news. His research and teaching focuses on criminology, policing, urban politics, and immigration and race relations. His current research explores police—community relations and urban violence in Southern and Northern California. Dr. Martinez received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Tracy Meares
Walton Hale Hamilton Professor and Director of the Justice Collaboratory
Yale Law School


Tracey L. Meares is the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor and Director of the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School.  Before joining the faculty at Yale, she served as a professor at The University of Chicago Law School from 1995 to 2007. She was the first African American woman to be granted tenure at both law schools. Professor Meares’s teaching and research interests focus on criminal procedure and criminal law policy with a particular emphasis, at the moment, on policing.  She has worked extensively with the federal government having served on the Committee on Law and Justice, a National Research Council Standing Committee of the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Science Advisory Board.  In December 2014, President Obama named her as a member of his Task Force on 21st Century Policing. She has a B.S. in general engineering from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Kathleen Nolan
Coordinator of Urban Specialization, Lecturer and Program Associate, Teacher Certification
Princeton University


Kathleen Nolan is a lecturer in the Program in Teacher Preparation, sociology, and the Program in American Studies at Princeton University. She teaches courses on education reform, urban teaching, and educational inequality. Her research interests include the social and cultural context of urban schooling, education policy, school discipline, and ethnographic methods. She is the author of Police in the Hallways: Discipline in an urban high school (2011).

Carlos Javier Ortiz
Filmmaker and Documentary Photographer


Carlos Javier is a filmmaker and documentary photographer who focuses on urban life, gun violence, racism, poverty and marginalized communities. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in a variety of venues including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts; the International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; the Detroit Institute of Arts; and the Library of Congress. In addition, his photos were used to illustrate Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Case for Reparations (2014) article, which was the best selling issue in the history of the Atlantic Magazine. His photos have also been published in The New Yorker, Mother Jones, among many others. In addition to his photography and film, Carlos Javier has taught at Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Andrew V. Papachristos
Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology
Yale University


Andrew V. Papachristos is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Yale University, the Director of the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE), and a faculty affiliate at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS) at Yale University. His research applies the growing field of network science to the study of neighborhoods, street gangs, and gun violence. Papachristos was awarded an NSF Early CAREER award to examine how violence spreads through high-risk social networks in four cities. He is also currently involved in the evaluation and implementation of several gun violence reduction strategies. His writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, The American Journal of Sociology, The Annals of the American Academy of Social and Political Science, The American Journal of Public Health,  Criminology, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, among other outlets. 

Charles Payne
Frank P. Hixon Professor in the School of Social Service Administration
University of Chicago


Charles M. Payne is the Frank P. Hixon Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.  His interests include urban education and school reform, social inequality, social change and modern African American history.  His books on education include So Much Reform, So Little Change : The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools (2008) and a co-edited anthology, Teach Freedom: The African American Tradition of Education For Liberation (2008).  One of his current book projects is a continuation of the discussion from So Much Reform.  Entitled Schooling the Ghetto: Fifty Years of “Reforming” Urban Schools, it is an attempt to synthesize what we should have learned about improving the schooling and life outcomes of children from disenfranchised communities.

Henri Peretz
Professor Emeritus of Sociology
Université Paris 8


Henri Peretz is a Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, of Université Paris 8. He is an Urban Ethnographer, Historian of Photography, and Curator, and is also a Senior Fellow of the Yale Urban Ethnography Project. He received his PhD from Université Paris 5 in 1972, and his adviser was Pierre Bourdieu. From 1985 to 2005, he was an Associate Professor of Sociology for Université Paris 8. Among his works in progress, Professor Peretz is currently working on Historical Ethnography of Chicago Black Community (1904-1987), a book with maps, photographs, and archives in process to be published in 2017. He is also Co-organiser of a Conference, the University of Chicago in Paris: The South Side between blighted space and cultural space, in spring 2017. Retired since 2005, he lives in Paris and Amsterdam.

Sean Reardon
Endowed Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education
Professor of Sociology
Stanford University


Sean Reardon is the endowed Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education and is Professor (by courtesy) of Sociology at Stanford University. His research focuses on the causes, patterns, trends, and consequences of social and educational inequality, the effects of educational policy on educational and social inequality, and in applied statistical methods for educational research. In addition, he develops methods of measuring social and educational inequality (including the measurement of segregation and achievement gaps) and methods of causal inference in educational and social science research. He teaches graduate courses in applied statistical methods, with a particular emphasis on the application of experimental and quasi-experimental methods to the investigation of issues of educational policy and practice. Sean received his doctorate in education in 1997 from Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Education, and has been a recipient of a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar Award, a Carnegie Scholar Award, and a National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Julia Rozanova
Associate Research Scientist
Yale School of Medicine


Julia Rozanova is an Associate Research Scientist in the Yale School of Medicine (AIDS Program), and a Junior Fellow of the Yale Urban Ethnography Project. A medical sociologist and ethnographer (PhD Alberta), Dr. Rozanova examines health disparities, criminal justice, and aging on the examples of veterans with a mental illness and current and former prisoners living with HIV and substance use disorders. Her research into cultural and structural processes of stigma, stereotype, and discrimination of these vulnerable populations appeared in leading American and international journals like Ageing & Society, American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, and Health & Justice, and was published in the monograph Participation and Social Development (Peter Lang, 2013). Dr. Rozanova is Vice President of Research Committee 10 on Social Participation of the International Sociological Association. As Co-Investigator on PRIDE project funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse she participates in research to curb HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. 

Carla Shedd
Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies
Columbia University


Carla Shedd is Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Columbia University. Professor Shedd received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. Her research and teaching interests focus on: crime and criminal justice; race and ethnicity; law; inequality; and urban sociology. Shedd’s first book, Unequal City: Race, Schools, and Perceptions of Injustice (October 2015, Russell Sage), focuses on Chicago public school students, and is a timely examination of race, place, education, and the expansion of the American carceral state. Shedd’s current research focuses on New York City’s juvenile justice system investigating how young people’s linked institutional experiences influence their placement on and movement along the carceral continuum.

Melanie Snyder
Executive Director
Lancaster County (PA) Reentry Management Organization

Melanie G. Snyder serves as the Executive Director of the Lancaster County (PA) Reentry Management Organization (RMO) - a coalition of over 40 criminal justice, human services and faith-based organizations, that improves community safety by helping people transitioning out of prison to become productive citizens and remain crime-free. She provides consulting, strategic planning and facilitation services to newly forming reentry coalitions in other regions and states. Melanie is the author of Grace Goes to Prison: An Inspiring Story of Hope and Humanity (Brethren Press, 2009) and has given a TEDx talk titled “Breaking Out of Prison Thinking.” She is a certified instructor for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Healing Communities model, a National Institute of Corrections certified Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS), and a Restorative Justice Mediator.

Harold Dean Trulear
Associate Professor of Applied Theology
Howard University School of Divinity

Harold Dean Trulear, Ph.D., has served as Associate Professor of Applied Theology at Howard University School of Divinity since 2003. He currently teaches Prophetic Ministry, Ethics and Politics, Ministry and Criminal Justice, and Church and Community Studies. Dr. Trulear has lectured for university, church and professional organizations across the country, including Fuller Theological Seminary, Rice University, Baylor University, Tuskegee University, Southern University, Payne Theological Seminary, Princeton University, the American Baptist Churches/USA, the Mount Sinai Holy Church of America, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the North American Association of Christians in Social Work and the NAACP. In 2014, Dr. Trulear was named as one of “14 Faith Leaders to Watch” by the Center for American Progress. He also serves as a member of the Executive Session on Community Corrections at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

SaunJuhi Verma
Rutgers, State University of New Jersey


Dr. Verma is an Assistant Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Her program of research is driven by questions of how immigration policies inform the valuation of labor, particularly with attention to race and gender as organizing principles. She uses ethnographic and archival methods to conduct process-centered studies that seek to identify hidden mechanisms that frame labor market inequality. Her book manuscript, Black Gold, Brown Labor: Selling Migrants in Global Recruitment Markets, is the first to identify a multi-country labor recruitment chain that links the U.S. oil industry to the gulf economies of the Middle East and finally to the expansive labor brokerage industry in India. Building upon the study, her second book project, supported by the Fulbright Nehru Award, shifts gears from research about immigration policy outcomes to evaluate policy design.

Rodney Walker
Master’s Degree
Yale University

Rodney Walker, a Chicago native, has a Bachelors degree from Morehouse College and a master’s degree from Yale University. Given the obstacles placed before him as a foster child, Rodney struggled academically and socially in school. In his early years of elementary school, he was placed in 12 different homes, special education throughout grade school, repeated the fourth grade due to poor academic performance, and finished his freshman year of high school with a sub-1.5 GPA. After joining a youth mentoring program in his senior year of high school, Rodney was able to deal with life struggles that had restrained him. During this period, he also joined the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a youth entrepreneurship program for high school students. With the support and guidance of NFTE and committed mentors, Rodney competed and won various business plan competitions. He is the founder of Forever Life Productions, a company that creates custom videos for special occasions and events. Along with his production company, Rodney travels both nationally and internationally, speaking at public schools, corporations, and conferences about the importance of education, entreprenurship education, mentoring at-risk youth, and corporate philanthropy for non-profit organizations aimed to uplift and support at-risk youth.

Jerry D. Weast, Ed.D.
Founder and CEO
Partnership for Deliberate Excellence, LLC


A veteran of education leadership including 35 years as a superintendent of schools districts in five states, Dr. Weast is committed to ensuring all students graduate prepared and inspired for success in college and careers. He is founder and president of the Partnership for Deliberate Excellence, LLC, through which he is working with school districts across the United States to improve the leadership and quality of public education. Dr. Weast’s groundbreaking approaches to improving public education are the subjects of case studies by the Harvard Business School, The Pew Foundation, the Foundation for Child Development, the Panasonic Foundation, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Dr. Weast has received numerous awards and honors, including the Educator of the Year Award from the Schott Foundation for Public Education (2011); and the 2012 Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Educational Research Association, and serves on the Boards of several organizations.

William Julius Wilson
Geyser University Professor
Harvard University


William Julius Wilson is Geyser University Professor at Harvard. A recipient of the 1998 National Medal of Science, the highest scientific honor bestowed in the United States, Wilson was A MacArthur Prize Fellow from 1987 to 1992, past President of the American Sociological Association, and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Education, and the British Academy. He was awarded the Talcott Parsons Prize in the Social Sciences by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003, and received the Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award by the American Sociological Association in 2014, which is the Association’s highest honor. His many publications include three award-winning books—The Declining Significance of Race (1978, 1980, 2012), The Truly Disadvantaged (1987, 2012), and When Work Disappears (1996).