Rachel Elizabeth Williams

Rachel Williams is a PhD candidate in the School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work explores the linkages between the political economy, segregation, education policy, and Black politics. Her dissertation utilizes qualitative and spatial methods to examine the contemporary processes that reconfigure racial injustice under new terms at the intersection of public policy domains – housing, education, district fragmentation. Rachel examines charter growth in relationship to new modes of segregation, such as predatory housing policies and county secession, while drawing linkages to Black politics in a majority Black city in the U.S. South.

She is a recipient of the UC Berkeley Chancellor's Fellowship and her dissertation is supported by the Ford Foundation, and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation.

Rachel previously served as the Division L (Education Policy and Politics) Graduate Representative for the American Education Research Association, and currently serves on the Berkeley Review of Education editorial board, and the American Journal of Education student board.

Specializations and Interests

Political Economy of Education; Politics of Education Policy; Black Education; Racial Politics; Southern Education


M.P.P., Vanderbilt University
B.A., Dillard University