Dr. Rashawn Ray is Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR) at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. Ray is one of the co-editors of Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public. Formerly, Ray was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Research Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and he currently serves on the National Advisory Committee for the RWJF Health Policy Research Scholars Program.

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 50 books, articles, and book chapters, and 20 op-eds. His articles have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Science Advances, Social Science Research, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Du Bois Review, and the Annual Review of Public Health. 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, Washington Post, USA Today, POLITICO, Business Insider, Newsweek, The Guardian, Huffington Post, NBC News, The Hill, The Conversation, and Public Radio International. Selected as 40 Under 40 Prince George's County and awarded the 2016 UMD Research Communicator Award, Ray has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, C-Span, PBS, HLN, Al Jazeera, NPR, and Fox. 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.

Please see op-eds and other public scholarship at this link

CV: CV_Ray_3.pdf293.44 KB


  • PhD
    Indiana University, 2010
  • MA
    Indiana University, 2005
  • BA
    University of Memphis, 2003

Current Students

Former Students

  • Dr. Melissa Brown
    Assistant Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University
  • Dr. Jonathan Cox
    Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Central Florida
  • Dr. Amanda Dewey
    Senior Research Analyst at ACEEE and Mayor of Berwyn Heights
  • Dr. Shaun Genter
    Researcher, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Dr. SunAh Laybourn
    Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Memphis

Related Students (Listed by Student on Student's Profile)

  • Amanda Dewey
  • Simone Durham
  • Katelyn Foltz
  • Angelica Loblack
  • Robyn T. Moore
  • Connor Powelson
  • Chandra V. Reyna
  • Candice A. Shannon
Ray Headshot
4137 Parren J. Mitchell Art/Sociology Building
Department of Sociology
rjray [at] umd.edu