Dawn Down
Dawn Dow
Nonresident Fellow
Office of Race and Equity Research
Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population
  • Profile
  • Outside Affiliations
  • I was thrilled to be a part of the Urban Institute’s inaugural cohort of equity scholars, and I am excited to continue this connection as a nonresident fellow. By contributing to Urban’s research, I have had the opportunity to connect with a diverse group of researchers using different methods to produce high-quality policy-relevant scholarship aimed at enhancing racial equity in our society.

    Dawn M. Dow is a nonresident fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population and the Office of Race and Equity Research and a former equity scholar at the Urban Institute. She engages in policy-oriented research focusing on families, emphasizing approaches examining intersectionality, structural racism, and equity.

    Dow is also an associate professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a faculty associate at the Maryland Population Research Center. She previously served as the Critical Race Initiative faculty director, which holds an annual symposium focused on a topic engaging systemic racism.

    Dow’s research examines how race, class, and gender affect the family, educational settings, the law, and political mobilization. She is the author of the award-winning book Mothering While Black: Boundaries and Burdens of Middle-Class Parenthood, which examines Black American middle-class and upper-middle-class mothers’ approaches to parenting their children and their views and decisions about work, family, and child care. Her work has appeared in such journals as Gender and Society, the Journal of Marriage and Family, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Science Advances, and Mobilization.

    Dow was the deputy editor for the Journal of Marriage and Family; was the editor for its special issue “Transformative Family Scholarship: Theory, Practice, and Research at the Intersection of Families, Race, and Social Justice”; and served on the editorial board of Contexts.

    Dow earned a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a juris doctor from Columbia Law School.

    Income and wealth distribution
    Families with low incomes
    Spending on children
    Race, gender, class, and ethnicity
    Child care

    Outside Affiliations
    University of Maryland, College Park
    Associate Professor

    Urban experts are permitted and empowered to work and affiliate with outside organizations, whether serving on boards, volunteering their time, or providing advice and counsel. And Urban welcomes visiting scholars, nonresident or affiliated fellows who work for other organizations. These outside affiliations enrich our perspectives and our learning environment. We also require all paid and unpaid experts to disclose their affiliations to Urban leadership and follow rules governing their engagement to ensure transparency for audiences and independence of experts.