Prudence L. Carter is Dean and Professor of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to her arrival at Berkeley, Carter was the Jacks Family Professor of Education and Professor Sociology (by courtesy) at Stanford University.
A product of public schools in the Mississippi Delta, Dr. Carter received a Bachelor of Science degree in applied mathematics and economics from Brown University; earned a Masters of Art in Sociology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University; and an MPhil and Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University.
Dr. Carter’s primary research and teaching agenda focuses on causes of and solutions to enduring social and cultural inequalities among social groups, especially in education and schooling. Her expertise ranges from issues of youth identity and race, class, and gender, urban poverty, social and cultural inequality, the sociology of education and mixed research methods. Specifically, she examines academic and mobility differences shaped by the effects of race, ethnicity, class, and gender in U.S. and global society.
Dr. Carter’s award-winning book, Keepin’ It Real: School Success beyond Black and White (Oxford University Press, 2005), debates various cultural explanations used to explain school achievement and racial identity for low-income Black and Latino youth in the United States. Keepin’ It Real was recognized as the 2006 co-winner of the Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award given by the American Sociological Association (ASA) for its contribution to the eradication of racism; a 2005 finalist for the C. Wright Mills Book Award, given by the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and an Honorable Mention for best book given by the section on Race, Class, and Gender of the ASA.
Her most recent books include Stubborn Roots: Race, Culture, and Inequality in U.S. & South African Schools (2012) and Closing the Opportunity Gap: What American Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance (2013), co-edited with Dr. Kevin Welner—both published by Oxford University Press. The latter brings together top American experts who offer concise, research-based essays that paint a powerful and shocking picture of denied economic and educational opportunities. Her other publications have appeared in various journals and book volumes. Her research has also been featured in the Pulitzer-Prize winning documentary “Mind the Gap: Why Are Good Schools Failing Black Students” by journalist Nancy Solomon and has been a featured on dozens of National Public Radio (NPR) shows around the United States.
Dr. Carter is an elected a member of the National Academy of Education, the Sociological Research Association, and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). She also serves on the Board of Trustees for the William T. Grant Foundation in New York and previously on the board of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth in San Francisco.