Ray regularly testifies at the federal and state levels on racial equity, policing and criminal justice reform, health policy, wealth, and family policy. As the executive director of LASSR, Ray helped develop a virtual reality program for law enforcement and led implicit bias trainings with thousands of police officers, military personnel, and employees at companies and organizations. Before obtaining his Ph.D. and master’s degree from IU, he earned his bachelor’s in sociology from the University of Memphis. Previously, Ray served on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington Planning Committee and the Commission on Racial Justice with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
Ray has published over 50 books, articles, and book chapters, and over 50 op-eds. He has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, POLITICO, Business Insider, Newsweek, NBC News, The Guardian, The Hill, Huffington Post, and The Conversation. Ray has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, CBS, ABC, C-Span, PBS, NPR, and Al Jazeera.
His research addresses the mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequality with a particular focus on police-civilian relations and men’s treatment of women. His academic articles have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Science Advances, Social Science Research, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Du Bois Review, and the Annual Review of Public Health. Ray’s books include Systemic Racism in America: Sociological Theory, Education Inequality, and Social Change (with Hoda Mahmoudi), How Families Matter: Simply Complicated Intersections of Race, Gender, and Work (with Pamela Braboy Jackson) and Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy, which has been adopted over 40 times in college courses.
Ray has been awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Science Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science, the Public Understanding of Sociology Award from the American Sociological Association, and the Morris Rosenberg Award for Outstanding Sociological Achievement from the DC Sociological Society.