Institute on Assets and Social Policy

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Thomas Shapiro

Dr. Thomas Shapiro, IASP DirectorProfessor Thomas Shapiro directs the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and is the Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. 

Professor Shapiro's primary interest is in racial inequality and public policy. He is a leader in the asset development field with a particular focus on closing the racial wealth gap. His book, The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality, published by Oxford University Press, 2004 (soft cover, 2005) was widely reviewed, including by the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and others. The book was named one of the Notable Books of 2004 by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.



With Dr. Melvin Oliver, he wrote the award-winning Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality, which received the 1997 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association. This book also won the 1995 C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America named it an Outstanding Book of 1996.




Great Divides: Readings in Social Inequality in the United States, 3rd edition, was published in the summer of 2004.

 In 2006, a tenth anniversary edition of Black Wealth/White Wealth was published and included two new chapters that examine the most important changes in racial inequality and developments in asset policy in the past decade.  Great Divides: Readings in Social Inequality in the United States, 3rd edition, was published in the summer of 2004.



Dr. Shapiro’s widely anticipated book Toxic Inequality: How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, & Threatens Our Future was released March 2017.

His media appearances include Tony Brown's Journal, The Tavis Smiley Show, Talk of the Nation, CNN, Melissa Harris-Perry, the Rachel Maddow Show, and On Point. His work has been reviewed or discussed in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The American Prospect, The Chicago Sun-Times, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CommonWealth Magazine, Newsweek, The Village Voice, and others.



Dr. Shapiro presents lectures and seminars throughout the United States to general, professional, policy, community, foundation, and university audiences. He teaches seminars in Assets and Social Policy; The Sociological Inquiry of Inequality; and Qualitative Research Methods.

(781) 736-4671 | tshapiro@brandeis.edu | Twitter: @tmshapiro

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