Thomas M. Shapiro

Professor Thomas Shapiro

Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy

Thomas Shapiro is the Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

Shapiro's primary interest is in racial inequality and public policy. He is a leader in the asset development field with a particular focus on closing the racial wealth gap. "The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality," published by Oxford University Press, 2004 (soft cover, 2005) was widely reviewed, including by the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and others. The book was named one of the Notable Books of 2004 by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

With Dr. Melvin Oliver, he wrote the award-winning "Black Wealth/White Wealth," which received the 1997 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association. This book also won the 1995 C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America named it an Outstanding Book of 1996.

A 10th anniversary edition of "Black Wealth/White Wealth," with two new chapters that examine the most important changes in racial inequality and developments in asset policy in the past decade, was published in 2006.

"Great Divides: Readings in Social Inequality in the United States," 3rd edition, was published in the summer of 2004.

His media appearances include Tony Brown's Journal, The Tavis Smiley Show, Talk of the Nation, CNN, and On Point. His work has been reviewed or discussed in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The American Prospect, The Chicago Sun-Times, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CommonWealth Magazine, Newsweek, The Village Voice, and others.

Shapiro presents lectures and seminars throughout the United States to general, professional, policy, community, foundation, and university audiences. He teaches seminars in Assets and Social Policy; The Sociological Inquiry of Inequality; and Qualitative Research Methods.


Awards and Honors

Selected Publications

Black Wealth White Wealth book coverShapiro, Thomas M/Melvin Oliver. "Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality." Tenth Anniversary Edition. New York and London: Routledge Publishers, 2006.

Great Divides Book CoverShapiro, Thomas M. "Great Divides: Readings in Social Inequality in the United States." 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill, 2004.

Journal Articles

Shapiro, Thomas M. "Race, Homeownership and Wealth." Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 20. (2006).

Shapiro, Thomas M. "The Racial Wealth Gap." African Americans and the U.S. Economy. Ed. Conrad, Whitehead, Mason & Stewart. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.

Shapiro, Thomas M. "The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality." Paperback ed. Oxford University Press, 2005.

Shapiro, Thomas M. & Johnson, Heather B. "Good Neighborhoods, Good Schools: Race and the Good Choices of White Families." White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism. Ed. Doan, Ashley& Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. Routledge, 2003