Ravi K. Perry, Ph.D.
Dr. Ravi K. Perry joined the Department of Political Science at Howard University in August 2019 as Chair and Professor. Previously, Dr. Perry was Chair of the Department of Political Science at Virginia Commonwealth University. Perry joins the political science faculty at Howard at a pivotal moment in the department’s history. With 16 full time faculty and over 700 first majors, political science is one of the largest undergraduate majors at Howard University. The department also has a robust graduate program, including the world’s only Ph.D. in political science that has an available focus area explicitly in Black politics. US Senator (D-CA) and 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris, noted political scientist Hanes Walton. Jr., and many others are among the department’s proud graduates.
Dr. Perry holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Brown University, each in political science. An expert on Black politics, minority representation, urban politics, American public policy, and LGBT candidates of color, Dr. Perry is the editor of 21st Century Urban Race Politics: Representing Minorities as Universal Interests, a book that discusses the efforts of African American, Latino and Asian mayors to represent the interests of minorities in historically White cities in the United States. His second book, entitled Black Mayors, White Majorities: The Balancing Act of Racial Politics, focuses on the challenges Black mayors face in representing Black interests in majority White, medium-sized cities in the state of Ohio. His third book, published with his mother, is The Little Rock Crisis: What Desegregation Politics Says About Us. In it, Perry and Perry frame the story of the Little Rock 1957 desegregation crisis through the lens of memory. Over time, those memories – individual and collective – have motivated Little Rockians for social and political action and engagement.
Currently, Dr. Perry is finishing a book that introduces the lives and campaigns of Black, and openly lesbian and gay elected officials in the United States.
Perry is Immediate Past President of the Association for Ethnic Studies, and a member of the Executive Council for the Urban Politics Organized Section of the American Political Science Association. Perry is a former member of the Executive Council for the Sexuality
and Politics Organized Section of the American Political Science Association and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Previously, Perry was also a member of the Board of Directors and Affiliate Equity Officer for the ACLU of Mississippi, and was
also one of the first openly gay branch presidents of color in the history of the NAACP in Worcester, Massachusetts.
In his limited spare time in the District, Dr. Perry, a ward 7 resident, also enjoys playing tennis, volunteering, and is a member of Metropolitan AME Church. Dr. Perry is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Dr. Perry is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being recognized as one of the Andrew Goodman Foundation’s 50 “Hero Citizens;” Out Magazine’s “Hidden 105” and The Advocate’s “193 Reasons to Have Pride,” and “40 under 40.”
Page last updated: August 28, 2020
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