Melissa F. Weiner

Associate Professor of Sociology, College of the Holy Cross

Connect with Melissa

About Melissa

Weiner’s research and teaching focuses on racial policies in the U.S., particularly those relating to education, and race-based social protest. In addition to researching these topics, she has worked with the Institute on Race and Poverty (University of Minnesota Law School) writing on policy issues related to housing, transportation, jobs, education, public discourse, and school integration, some of which were presented at the United Nation’s World Conference Against Racism in Darfur. She also worked as a policy writer on Ralph Remington’s Campaign for Ward 10 City Councilman, extensively with Progressive Minnesota (now MNPAC), particularly on their Living Wage campaign, as a Big Sister (Big Brothers Big Sisters with Jewish Family & Children’s Services), and the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen. She is the founder and executive director of Brighter World Books, a nonprofit that works with teachers and principals of South African Schools to fill their libraries.


Money Matters - For All Schoolchildren

In the News

"In Education, Funding Matters," Melissa F. Weiner, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, March 5, 2013.
"Parents Know: It’s Time We All Listen," Melissa F. Weiner, RacismReview, March 3, 2011.
"Exposing the Real Guilty Party: School Funding and Racial Disparities," Melissa F. Weiner, RacismReview, February 12, 2011.
Guest to discuss Arizona’s immigration legislature on WYBC 93.5FM, Melissa F. Weiner, June 16, 2010.
Guest to discuss crime in urban areas on WYBC 93.5FM, Melissa F. Weiner, April 13, 2010.
Melissa F. Weiner's research on racism, the Olympics, and the story of Jesse Owens discussed by Amanda Cuda, "Experts: Olympics Can Measure Race Relations Progress," Connecticut Post, February 20, 2010.
Melissa F. Weiner's research on the absence of a populist movement in spite of the economic recession discussed by Russell Goldman, "Where’s the Rage? Recession Sparks Mild Protests," ABC News, March 17, 2009.
Melissa F. Weiner's research on racial stereotypes and identities discussed by Ed Stannard, "Race Not a Black or White Issue," New Haven Register, November 23, 2008.
Guest to discuss racial politics and voter turnout on WQUN 1220AM, Melissa F. Weiner, November 15, 2008.
"Quinnipiac Says ‘Hate’ Acts Not Unique to University," Melissa F. Weiner, Interview with Ed Stannard, New Haven Register, September 18, 2008.
Melissa F. Weiner's research on biracial identity discussed by Marisa Maldonado, "Portrait of a New American Family: Mixed-Race Children Suppress Part of Heritage," Norwich Bulletin, May 14, 2008.


Power, Protest and the Public Schools: Jewish and African American Struggles in New York City (Rutgers University Press, 2010).
Illustrates how, rather than acting as pathways to upward socioeconomic mobility, schools entrenched racial inequalities for racialized groups, even in the face of decades-long protest by hundreds of parents, students, and community activists.
"All the News That’s Fit to Print? Silence and Voice in Mainstream and Ethnic Press Accounts of African American Protest" Research in Social Movements, Conflict, and Change 31 (2010): 297-324.
Sheds light on ways the mainstream press (The New York Times) used stereotypical depictions of low-income female mothers protesting educational inequality in their children’s schools thereby delegitimizing their demands while the ethnic press provides accurate, truthful accounts featuring activists’ voices.
"Elite vs. Grassroots: Disjunctures between Parents’ and Civil Rights Organizations’ Demands for the New York City Public Schools, 1950-1960" The Sociological Quarterly 50, no. 1 (2009): 89-119.
Shows that established civil rights organizations sought abstract ideals of integration and halted movement tactics when promised while parents demanded specific substantive changes to the schools, both with regards to integration and resource and curricular reform, while seeking educational equality in New York City.