Faculty and Researchers

The Heller School for Social Policy and ManagementReturn to this website's homepageBrandeis University

Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy and Director, Institute on Assets and Social Policy

tshapiro@brandeis.edu  •  Heller-Brown Building  • 368  •  781-736-4671

Expertise

Racial inequality and public policy.

Courses

  • HS 110a - Wealth and Poverty
  • HS 322b - Sociological Inquiry

Scholarship

  • Hannah Thomas, Janet Boguslaw, Shapiro, Thomas M. Employment Capital: How Work Builds and Protects Family Wealth and Security. Waltham IASP: 2014.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M, Meschede, Tatjana, and Osoro, Sam. "The Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Why Wealth is Not Color Blind." The Asset Perspective. Ed. Reid Cramer and Trini Williams Shanks. New York: Palgrave MacMillian, 2014
  • Boguslaw, Janet, Thomas, Hannah, Meschede, Tatjana, and Shapiro, Thomas M. "Making Hard Choices: Navigating the Economic Shock of Unemploymen. Washington, D.C. Pew Foundation: 2013.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M, Meschede, Tatjana, and Osoro, Sam. Widening Roots of the Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide. Boston, MA IASP: 2013.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M, Meschede, Tatjana and Sullivan, Laura. The Crisis of Economic Insecurity for African-American and Latino Seniors. Boston and New York Institute on Assets and Social Policy and Demos: 2011.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M, Meschede, Tatjana, Cronin, Martha, and Sullivan, Laura. RISING ECONOMIC INSECURITY AMONG SENIOR SINGLE WOMEN. Boston and New York Institute on Assets and Social Policy and Demos: 2011.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M, Meschede, Tatjana, and Sullivan, Laura. From Bad to Worse: Senior Economic Insecurity on the Rise, July 2011. Institute on Assets and Social Policy, Demos: 2011.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M, Meschede, T. and Sullivan, L.. "Severe Financial Insecurity among African American and Latino Seniors." Aging Today x. x (2010)
  • Shapiro, Thomas M, Meschede, T., and Sullivan, L.. Racial Wealth Gap Increases Fourfold. Boston Institute on Assets and Social Policy: 2010.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M, Meschede, T., and Wheary, J.. Living Longer on Less: The Financial Insecurity Among Seniors of Color.. Boston Institute on Assets and Social Policy and Demos: 2010.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M. Living Longer on Less in Massachusetts: The New Economic (In)Security of Seniors. 2009.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M/ Laura Sullivan/Tatjana Meschede. "Enhancing Social Security For Low-Income Workers: Coordinating an Enhanced Minimum Benefit with Social Safety Net Provisions for Seniors." Strengthening Social Security for Vulnerable Groups. Ed. Virginia Reno and Joni Lavery. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Insurance, 2009
  • Shapiro, Thomas M/Hannah Thomas. "Community Assets – Expanding Beyond Individual Asset Ownership." Building Healthy Communities: A Guide to Community Economic Development for Advocates, Lawyers, and Policymakers. Ed. Roger Clay and Susan Jones. American Bar Association, 2009
  • Shapiro, Thomas M/Laura Sullivan/Tatjana Meschede. "The Long-Term Economic (In)Security of Seniors." New England Community Developmens (2009): December, 2009.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M/Melvin Oliver/Tatjana Meschede. The Asset Security and Opportunity Index. Institute on Assets and Social Policy. 2009.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M/Tatjana Meschede/Jennifer Wheary. Living Longer on Less: The New Economic (In)Security of Seniors. 2009.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M/Hannah Thomas. "Twenty-first Century Ownership: Individual and Community Stakes." Community Investments (2008): 26-30.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M/Jennifer Wheary/Tamara Draut/Tatjana Meschede. Economic (In)Security: The Experience of the African American and Latino Middle Classes. 2008.
  • Shapiro, Thomas/Melvin Oliver. "Sub-Prime as a Black Catastrophe." The American Prospect Special Supplement: The Color Of Opportunity. (2008): A9-A11.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M/Jennifer Wheary/Tamara Draut. By A Thread: The New Experience of America's Middle Class. 2007.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M. "Race, Homeownership and Wealth." Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 20. (2006).
  • Shapiro, Thomas M/Melvin Oliver. Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality. Tenth Anniversary Edition. New York and London: Routledge Publishers, 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 Pepetuates Inequality. Paperback ed. Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M. Great Divides: Readings in Social Inequality in the United States. 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill, 2004.
  • Shapiro, Thomas M. The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality. Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • 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
  • Shapiro, Thomas M. Black Wealth/White Wealth. Routledge, 1995.
Tom  Shapiro's picture

Profile

Professor Thomas Shapiro directs the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and is the Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University.

Professor 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 Tenth 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.

Dr. 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.

 

Degrees

Washington University
Ph.D.

Awards and Honors

  • Fulbright Scholar, South Africa (2011)
  • Charles H. Farnsworth Trust Scholars Program in Aging Policy Research (2008)
  • Residency Fellow, Rockefeller Study and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy (2005)
  • The Hidden Cost of Being African American named one of the Best Books of the Year, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (2004)
  • Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award, American Sociological Association (1997)
  • C. Wright Mills Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems (1996)

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