Fall 2023 Colloquium Series - Adam Gamoran

Pursuing Research on Racial Equity in a Time of Polarization



Event Description

About the talk:

The period of racial reckoning precipitated by the terrible murder of George Floyd has accelerated research efforts to identify approaches to reducing racial inequality. Since early 2021, however, a backlash against racial equity programs have impeded such efforts, affecting not only antiracist programs, but research about antiracist activities. What have researchers experienced while pursuing research on racial equity in these polarized times? How have some managed to succeed in their aims despite hostility from many directions? And what is the responsibility of research funders to enable and support such research? Adam Gamoran will address these questions from the perspective of a funder whose core mission has included, since 2014, research to reduce racial inequality in youth outcomes. He will also discuss funding opportunities at the William T. Grant Foundation.

About the speaker:

Adam Gamoran is president of the William T. Grant Foundation, a charitable organization that supports research on programs, policies, and practices to reduce inequality in youth outcomes, and on ways to improve the use of research evidence in youth-related policies and practices.  Previously, he held the John D. MacArthur Chair in Sociology and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he spent three decades engaged in research on educational inequality and school reform.  Recent writing includes essays such as “Advancing Institutional Change to Encourage Faculty Participation in Research-Practice Partnerships” (Educational Policy, 2023) and research articles including “Social Capital and Student Achievement: An Intervention-Based Test of Theory” (Sociology of Education, 2021).  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member and former vice president of the National Academy of Education, and he was twice appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Board for Education Sciences.  His research contributions have been honored by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, the American Educational Research Association, and the Sociology of Education Section of the American Sociological Association.