Founder & Inaugural Director - Rhonda Y. Williams
Founder and Inaugural Director of the Social Justice Institute
Social Justice Institute founder and inaugural director Rhonda Y. Williams, PhD, served as a professor of history. During her two-decade tenure as a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University, she also founded and directed the Postdoctoral Fellowship in African American Studies. In August, she will become the inaugural John L. Seigenthaler Chair in American History at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.
Her research interests include:
- Manifestations of race and gender inequality on urban space and policy,
- History of low-income people's lives and activism,
- Social justice and movements and
- Illicit narcotics economies in the post-1940s United States.
The author of Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power in the 20th Century (2015) and the award-winning The Politics of Public Housing: Black Women's Struggles against Urban Inequality (2005), Williams has been honored by History News Network as a Top Young Historian; the Organization of American Historians as a Distinguished Lecturer; and is listed in the 2009 and 2015 editions of Who's Who in Black Cleveland. Williams is a recipient of an American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Fellowship and a former Harvard University W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Fellow. She is the co-editor of the recently launched book series, Justice, Power, and Politics, with the University of North Carolina Press and co-editor of Teaching the American Civil Rights Movement.
Williams received her PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and her undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Maryland College Park in 1989, where she became that university's first black salutatorian in its then 187-year history.
Interviews with Dr. Rhonda Williams - What is social justice? What is the Social Justice Institute?
Dr. Rhonda with Angela Y. Davis, activist and scholar, at Think Tank 2015.