COLLEGE PARK, Md.
Dr. Rhonda M. Williams, acting director of Afro-American Studies at the University of Maryland-College Park, died of cancer on Nov. 7 at her home in Hyattsville, Md. She was 43.
Williams graduated cum laude from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1978 and went on to earn her Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983. She came to the University of Maryland in 1986 as an assistant professor of Afro-American studies and economics.
A political economist and associate professor, she has been widely published. In 1996, her empirical study, “A Logit Decomposition Analysis of Occupational Segregation: Results for the 1970s and 1980s,” appeared in The Review of Economics and Statistics and a second study, “The Way We Were?: Discrimination, Competition, and Inter-Industry Wage Differential in 1970,” was the lead essay in the June 1996 issue of Review of Radical Political Economics.
In 1997, Williams co-edited Race, Markets and Social Outcomes. Also in that year, “Living at the Crossroad: Explorations in Race, Nationality, Sexuality and Gender,” appeared in Dr. Wahneema Lubiano’s publication, The House that Race Built: Black Americans, U.S. Terrain.
Williams was active as a consultant and instructor in curriculum transformation. She spent nine years working with Professor Sharon Harley in the Multicultural Teacher Education Training Institute for Prince George’s County public school teachers. The institute was part of the university’s Afro-American studies program.
Most recently, she hosted a conference on race, ethnicity and wealth that brought scholars from all across the nation to College Park to investigate racial-ethnic wealth form and inequalities in the United States’ post-industrial economy.
Williams is survived by many family members and friends.
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