Nancy Lopez

Biography 

Dr. López directs and co-founded the Institute for the Study of "Race" and Social Justice, RWJF Center for Health Policy. She coordinates the NM Statewide Race, Gender, Class Data Policy Consortium, chairs the Race, Gender, Class section of the American Sociological Association (ASA), co-chairs the UNM Diversity Council and sits on Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee at UNM.

Research Interests 

Nancy López is associate professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico (B.A. Columbia College, Columbia University, 1991; Ph.D. Graduate School & University Center, City University of New York (GSUC-CUNY, 1999). Dr. López directs and co-founded the Institute for the Study of "Race" and Social Justice, RWJF Center for Health Policy. She coordinates the NM Statewide Race, Gender, Class Data Policy Consortium, chairs the Race, Gender, Class section of the American Sociological Association (ASA), co-chairs the UNM Diversity Council and sits on Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee at UNM.

López's scholarship, teaching and service is guided by the insights of intersectionality for interrogating inequalities across a variety of social outcomes, including education, health, employment, housing, etc..
Her book, Hopeful Girls, Troubled Boys: Race and Gender Disparity in Urban Education (Routledge, 2003) focuses on the race-gender experiences of Dominicans, West Indians, and Haitians to explain why girls are succeeding at higher rates than boys.
Dr. López co-edited, Mapping "Race": Critical Approaches to Health Disparities Research (Rutgers, 2013), a multidisciplinary volume that was the byproduct of NIH-funded workshop. The book departs from the premise that “race” is a multidimensional and multilevel social construction that has profound methodological implications for research and policy.
Her current work includes a national representative survey of Latinos to examines the health outcomes of Latino immigrants.  Another project involves a content analysis of official documents of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Census as sites of racial formation; she cautions that current proposals to combine Hispanic origin and race into one question may undermine civil rights monitoring and enforcement. Dr. López also uses the new measurement of race called "street race" and "street race-gender" that was included in the National Latino Health Survey, RWJF Center for Health Policy Survey (2015). Please see Nancy López, PhD Smithsonian Showcase: "What's Your Street Race-Gender? Implications of Proposed Changes to 2020 Census for the African Disapora and Urban Communities," Feb. 19, 2015. 40-minute presentation followed by 30-minutes of question and answer.

The daughter of Dominican immigrants, Dr. López was born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and she was raised in Baruch Public Houses.  Spanish is 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.