Critical Conversations: Race, Education and Inequality

Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America


Racial inequality in education is an entrenched and enduring issue in American society. Despite this, many continue to suggest that education is the great equalizer and a sure pathway to opportunity. This roundtable discussion invites Brown faculty to reflect on some of the current conditions in the US school system.

How has education failed black, brown, and poor children? What new hurdles will these vulnerable children face in the post-COVID-19 era? What challenges and opportunities to more equitable teaching and learning have the battles over curriculum revealed? What best practices may ensure that education supports the growth and well-being of a diverse community of learners?

This panel features four Brown scholars: Prudence Carter and Margot Jackson of Sociology, and Jonathan Collins and Andrea Flores of Education. Watch the event recording and read more about the speakers below.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Education.





Prudence L. Carter is Sarah and Joseph Jr. Dowling Professor of Sociology at Brown University.  She is a sociologist whose primary research focuses on explanations of enduring inequalities in education and society and their potential solutions. Her books include the award-winning Keepin’ It Real: School Success beyond Black and White; Stubborn Roots: Race, Culture, and Inequality in U.S. & South African Schools; and Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance, co-edited with Kevin Welner. Professor Carter is the 2021-22 President-elect of the American Sociological Association.


Jonathan E. Collins is an Assistant Professor of Education, Political Science, and International and Public Affairs. His research focuses on urban school reform, local politics, race and ethnicity, civic engagement, and deliberative democracy. His research has been supported by the Spencer Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences and published in the American Political Science Review, the Peabody Journal of Education, Political Behavior, and other peer-reviewed journals. 


Andrea Flores is an Assistant Professor of Education. She is a cultural anthropologist whose research interests primarily center on how education shapes immigrant and immigrant descendants’ sense of self, transitions to adulthood, and social belonging in the U.S. She is the author of The Succeeders: How Immigrant Youth are Transforming What it Means to Belong in America, released with University of California Press in 2021. 


Margot Jackson is an Associate Professor of Sociology and an affiliate of the Population Studies and Training Center (PSTC), the Annenberg Institute, the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy, and Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences at Brown.  Her research focuses on the study of poverty and inequality among U.S. children and families, and on the role of childhood circumstances in contributing to intra- and intergenerational poverty.