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2018 Leader: William Darity Jr.

William Darity Jr., Samuel DuBois Cook professor of public policy, is known for his work on inequality. 

He was recognized by Politico in 2017 as one of the top 50 political thinkers for his proposal to create a federal job guarantee for anyone above 18 years of age to reduce involuntary unemployment and poverty. He has been a strong advocate for the concept—known as the National Investment Employment Corps—and is motivated by his interest in the intersection of poverty and unemployment. He shared the honor with Darrick Hamilton, an associate director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, of which Darity is the director. 

Darity has also served as chair of the African and African American studies department and was the founding director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality. He’s published several books and served as the editor-in-chief for the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences.

Other recent work includes a study on childhood violence, and he is the co-investigator on a recent five-year, $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of religion on African Americans’ health. 

Darity lives in Durham and plays the harmonica with a local blues band.

Editor's Note: This profile is part of our new initiative called The Chronicle 18. We are highlighting 18 people and groups who are defining what it means to be at Duke this year. Read about the project and more of our selections.


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