Rhonda Y. Williams
Founder and Director of the Social Justice Institute
Associate professor of History
Social Justice Institute founder and director Rhonda Y. Williams, Ph.D. is an associate professor of history and the founder and director of the postdoctoral fellowship in African American studies at Case Western Reserve University.
The award-winning author of The Politics of Public Housing: Black Women's Struggles against Urban Inequality, Williams has been honored by History News Network as a Top Young Historian and is listed in the 2009 edition of Who's Who in Black Cleveland.
Her research interests include the manifestations of race and gender inequality on urban space and policy, the history of low-income people's lives and activism, and illicit narcotics economies in the post-1940s United States.
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.
Williams received her Ph.D. 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.
Her publications include articles on black power politics, the war on poverty, low-income black women's grassroots organizing, and urban and housing policy.
Dr. Rhonda is an expert in social inequality and has a passion for social justice. She has an article in the book Social Justice and Social Work: Rediscovering a Core Value of the Profession, a piece that details the founding of CWRU's own Social Justice Institute. To learn more about how the SJI came to be and get an idea to where the institute is going, see the book excerpt.