The Walter Stafford Project: On Racial Inequality in New York City

Bringing together specialists from diverse disciplines and practices to address racial inequality in New York City.

Economic, racial, and social inequalities have always existed in New York City, but they have especially worsened in recent years. The late Walter W. Stafford, NYU Wagner Professor of Public Policy, studied and engaged these issues all his life. The Walter Stafford Project on Racial Inequality in New York City invites academics to continue his work. Consistent with Professor Stafford's research, community activism, and engagement with public policy, the Project seeks to deepen research on inequality in New York and make that research useful for activists, policymakers, practitioners and academics as they seek to reduce inequality.

In the last half-century, academic and public policy writing on inequality in New York City has been characterized by specialists working in isolation from one another. The results are extensive micro-views of people, communities, and issues. The dialogue is missing a broad overview of what has occurred, identification of important trends, and bridging work between diverse sectors. The impacts of decision-making and economic developments on people and communities have been largely unrecorded. The focus of this project is to bring together specialists from diverse disciplines and practices to begin to understand what has and is occurring regarding inequality in New York City.


  • October 13-14, 2016: Symposium

  • Fall 2017: Compiling, editing and submitting Anthology on Racial Inequality in New York City Since 1965

  • Fall 2017: Submitting Anthology for consideration of publication and peer review.

  • Winter 2018: Anthology accepted for publication

  • Spring 2019: Planning and convening of Community Conversation based on a pamphlet summarizing the anthology

  • Fall 2019: Anthology will be released by SUNY Press


In the Fall of 2016 the WS Project organized a symposium on the Structure of Race and Inequality in NYC.  Paper presented at the symposium by academics and policy researchers were discussed by invited practitioners,  policy makers, and community activists. After the symposium authors of the papers presented worked with the organizers of symposium to revise their respective papers .  The papers have been edited and compiled into an anthology entitled, Racial Inequality in New York City Since 1965. The anthology will be released by SUNY Press the fall of 2019.

Organizers of  the Walter Stafford Project are currently planning a series of community conversations on a number of the areas covered in the anthology including: Housing, Policing, Health, Education and Immigrants. Read more about the Symposium, or please consider donating to support this project as it continues into its next phase of Community Conversations.

The Anthology



Oct 17th & 18th

The long-anticipated anthology, “Racial Inequality in New York City since 1965”, has been released! We invite you to attend and participate in one or more Community Conversations that will focus on the crucial issues covered by the chapter authors, leading experts in their fields. We want to hear from YOU!

WHO: Local community stakeholders, activists, policymakers and students!

WHAT: Come, listen to the panel of contributors as they discuss their findings, and add your voice to these important conversations.


1st Community Conversation:

Medgar Evers College Oct 17th 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

2nd Community Conversation:

CUNY Graduate Center Oct 18th 6:00 PM -8:00 PM

(Location details upon RSVP)




Project organizers:

Project sponsor:

New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service