Lecturers at the Jefferson Educational Society

Rashawn  Ray

Rashawn Ray, a veteran of the Jefferson’s Digital Summit in May 2021, is a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution. He is also a professor of Sociology and executive director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Ray is also the co-editor of Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public.​

Ray’s research has centered on mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequality, focusing on police-civilian relations and men’s treatment of women. He speaks to ways that inequality can be dampened through activism and racially uplifting social policy


A pioneering academic, Ray’s 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. Books published by Dr. Ray include  How Families Matter: Simply Complicated Intersections of Race, Gender, and Work and Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy.


Ray has also written for The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, and NBC News, and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, and Fox News. Ray, called a “policy star” by the Washington Post, brings immense expertise to his Summit talk, “The Future of Race in America.”


Dr. Ray earned a B.A. in Sociology at the University of Memphis and went on to receive an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Indiana University.