Seth Carpenter, Federal Reserve Board
Larry Chavis, University of North Carolina
Cecilia A. Conrad, MacArthur Foundation
Lisa D. Cook, Michigan State University
Sheldon Danziger, University of Michigan and National Poverty Center
Philip N. Jefferson, Swarthmore College
Marie T. Mora, Texas-Pan American
Samuel L. Myers, University of Minnesota
Ronald Oaxaca, University of Arizona
Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, MDRC
Cecilia Elena Rouse, Princeton University
Margaret C. Simms, Urban Institute
Steve Trejo, University of Texas at Austin
Current Profile: William A. Darity, Jr., Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African-American Studies, and Economics; Chair, African and African-American Studies; Director, Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Although he grew up in an affluent home, William A. “Sandy” Darity, Jr. learned about poverty, inequality and social injustice from his parents. They taught him early on that people do not struggle because they make bad decisions; people are poor because our society creates poverty. These continued to be important issues to Darity, and when he went to college, he took economics hoping to discover reasons why some people are born into lives of deprivation. He was surprised and disappointed to learn most answers from economists of the day involved only variations of human capital theory. So, Darity says, “with the hubris of youth,” he decided to become an economist to change the way economists think about poverty and inequality.
As a child, Darity lived with his parents in the Middle East where his father worked for the World Health Organization. They returned to the States when Darity was eight, and his father went back to school and became the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The family moved to Amherst, Massachusetts where Darity went to junior high and high school. From there, he earned his bachelor’s degree at Brown University in economics and political science, graduating magna cum laude with honors in both. He received a Marshall Scholarship which he used to attend the London School of Economics...