Sandy Darity headshot

Sandy Darity

Celebrated, pioneering Duke economist and social scientist William “Sandy” Darity is the nation’s foremost scholar and advocate of reparations for Black Americans.

Darity is the founder and executive director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, and the Samuel DuBois Cook Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and African and African American Studies.

In 2020, at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests following the Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd, Darity and his wife, A. Kirsten Mullen, reignited a long-dormant national conversation about African American reparations with the publication of their exhaustively researched work, “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.”

Darity and Mullen argued for redress on behalf of the black descendants of the nation’s enslaved ancestors, those “whose sale and whose forced labor drove the commerce of the United States from the earliest days of the nation and made possible the world we inhabit today.”

In 2005, Darity pioneered the subfield of stratification economics — the study of how disparity and inequality is used by dominant groups to maintain economic and social power.

For the past 15 years, Darity has spearheaded the Cook Center’s Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics Fellowship Program (DITE) to address the underrepresentation of Black, Latinx, and Native American economists among the tenured ranks of university faculty members.

This year, Darity was one of four scholars named a 2024 Distinguished Fellow by the American Economics Association, which cited him as a “distinguished economist whose groundbreaking research has significantly advanced our understanding of racial inequality, labor economics, and wealth disparities.”