Amanda Lewis

Associate Professor of African American Studies and Director of the UIC Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy

Biography

Amanda Lewis, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Sociology; Director of UIC Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy / Photo: Jenny Fontaine

Amanda Lewis, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Sociology; Director of UIC Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy / Photo: Jenny Fontaine

How does race shape children’s experiences and outcomes in school? How do racial inequalities and stereotypes affect everyday interactions?

These are questions sociologist Amanda Lewis examines by looking at the racial gap in academic achievement; how race shapes educational opportunities; and how ideas about race are negotiated in everyday life.

In her latest book, “Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequity Thrives in Good Schools,” Lewis and co-author John Diamond describe their five-year study of a diverse suburban school. The findings defy common explanations of the racial achievement gap, and point to factors within the school that bring about the disparity.

Her award-winning 2003 book, “Race in the Schoolyard: Negotiating the Color-line in Classrooms and Communities,” studied the unconscious racism in schools. After a year of observing classes in three Southern California elementary schools, Lewis described how the curriculum communicates exposed and concealed racial lessons on a daily basis.

Lewis is also co-editor of “The Changing Terrain of Race and Ethnicity,” and co-author of “Challenging Racism in Higher Education: Promoting Justice.”

Subject areas:

  • Race and ethnic relations
  • Urban schooling
  • Children and youth
  • Gender and social inequality