Dr. SunAh M Laybourn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Memphis, an Affiliate Faculty Member for the Center for Workplace Diversity & Inclusion, and an Academic Research Fellow of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Maryland (2018). Her research examines racialization processes and cross-racial interaction.  Dr. Laybourn is the co-author of Diversity in Black-Greek Letter Organizations: Breaking the Line (Routledge 2018). Her work has been published in Social Problems, Sociology of Race & Ethnicity, Racial & Ethnic Studies, and Asian Pacific American Law Journal, among others.

Her next book project, tentatively titled Adoptable Orphan, Deportable Immigrant: The Paradoxes of Exceptionalism (under contract with NYU Press) examines immigration, citizenship, and belonging through the case of Korean transnational transracial adoptees and citizenship rights advocacy.  In addition to her work in academia, Dr. Laybourn is an Advisory Council Member for the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network and a member of The Global Citizen Collective board of directors. You can also hear Dr. Laybourn every Saturday morning on her radio show Let’s Grab Coffee on WYXR 91.7FM Memphis or WYXR.org as she catches up with experts from across country who are investigating our most pressing social issues and common curiosities.

I credit my time at the University of Maryland with preparing me to continue to pursue both a robust research agenda and community-engaged work. The support and mentorship of the UMD Sociology Department as well as the community of scholars through the department’s Critical Race Initiative provided an invaluable foundation for my current scholarly and public-facing work.

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