Simone Durham was born and raised in Sacramento, CA. She moved to Baltimore, MD in 2011, where prior to attending the University of Maryland she earned a B.A. and M.A. in Sociology from Morgan State University, a Historically Black University (HBCU) in Baltimore. Simone currently lives in Atlanta, GA, where she is completing the dissertation phase of her doctoral program.

Simone has worked in higher education both as an adjunct faculty member and an administrator. She has taught undergraduate courses at Morgan State University, Anne Arundel Community College, and the University of Maryland. Courses she teaches include: Introduction to Sociology, Introduction to Anthropology, Social Problems, Social Psychology, Sociology of Race Relations, and Sociology of Sports. At Morgan, she served as the coordinator for the university financial literacy program and graduation cohort tracking initiative through the Office of Student Success and Retention.

Simone is a critical race scholar, focusing on identity, meaning making, mental health, and social movements. Her second year paper was an examination of racial projects taken on by polarized news media sources through coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement. Her dissertation project uses interviews to examine Black millennial perspectives on and engagement with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. This project covers a variety of topics, including collective identity, participation, mental health effects, evaluations of present and future success, media influence, and how her respondents conceptualize BLM as a racial project. Other projects Simone has completed or is working on examine how social characteristics correlate with levels of support for #BlackLivesMatter, multiracial identity development, crimmigration as a racial project, slave rebellions as a form of (social movement) resistance, and the role of Black death imagery in Black liberation movements.

In the department, Simone served as a 2018-2019 Social Co-Chair for the Graduate Student Forum, was a member of the 2019 Graduate Admissions Committee, was the 2019-2020 Graduate Student Representative on the Policy Committee, managed social media for the Critical Race Initiative from 2017-2019, and has been a member of the graduate student team that contributes to Contexts Magazine throughout her time in the department. For the 2019 academic year, she served as both a Writing Fellow in the Graduate Writing Center and a Graduate Student Advocate in the Graduate Student Legal Aid Office. In the 2020-2021 academic year, Simone served as an RA for Wayne Santoro and as a graduate assistant for Contexts Magazine, coordinating the graduate student team and managing the social media and website for the magazine. This academic year, Simone will return to TA-ing while maintaining her position at Contexts in the fall, followed by being on a dissertation fellowship in the spring semester as she completes the program.

Areas of Interest

  • Critical race theory, race, racism, and racial identity
  • Minority social movements
  • Social justice issues
  • Social psychology - identity, reflected appraisals, mental health, and meaning making processes
  • Sociology of sport


  • MA
    Sociology, University of Maryland - College Park, May 2019
  • MA
    Sociology, Morgan State University, May 2016
  • BA
    Sociology, Morgan State University, May 2014
Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building, Room 4114
Department of Sociology
sdurham3 [at]