I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh who specializes in Race and Urban Sociology. I received my PhD at Rice University. Yet, my journey into the study of social structures began long before I became an academic.
From a young age, I was exposed to both the possibilities and perils of urban life. My White college-educated parents were community development workers who initially raised my siblings and me in a lower working class racially diverse neighborhood.
Attending public schools and playing with my neighborhood friends exposed me to the multifaceted implications of urban poverty. At the same time, my parents’ connections to philanthropists and politicians provided me a window into the possibilities and wealth that existed within the city. These personal connections with individuals of comparable intelligence and work ethic on both sides of the socioeconomic spectrum helped me to realize structural conditions were a large determinant in life outcomes.
Additionally, my travels around the world helped me to see these structural conditions were not inevitable. Thus, my empirical research attempts to illuminate these structural conditions constraining opportunities in hopes of inspiring urban policy interventions that can foster opportunities among all city residents.