Nancy López

Nancy López, Ph.D. is a professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico. López directs and co-founded the Institute for the Study of “Race” and Social Justice and she is the founding coordinator of the New Mexico Statewide Race, Gender, Class Data Policy Consortium.  

Born and raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in Baruch Public Housing, Lopez is the eldest of five US-born children of Dominican immigrants who never had the privilege of pursuing education beyond the second grade. Spanish was her first language. In 1987 Dr. López graduated from Washington Irving H.S., a de facto racially segregated large public vocational high school for girls and she participated in federally funded equity-focused programs, such as Upward Bound and HeadStart

López’s scholarship, teaching and service is guided by the insights of intersectionality — the importance of examining race, gender, class, ethnicity together–for interrogating inequalities across a variety of social outcomes, including education, health, employment, housing, and developing contextualized solutions that advance social justice.  

Inspired largely in part by her own background and lived experiences, one of her most notable published works, “Hopeful Girls, Troubled Boys: Race and Gender Disparity in Urban Education focuses on the race-gender experiences of Dominicans, West Indians, and Haitians to explain why girls are succeeding at higher rates than boys. Lopez’s current research, funded by the WT Grant Foundation and Hewlett Foundation, includes a mixed study in three research practice partnerships that examine the role of ethnic studies in curriculum and culturally relevant pedagogy in reducing complex intersectional inequalities in high schools. 

Past Professors

Past Professors