Derron Wallace is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Education at Brandeis University. A sociologist of race, ethnicity and education, Wallace’s research focuses on structural and cultural inequalities in urban schools and neighborhoods as experienced by Black youth. He is the author of the new book, The Culture Trap: Ethnic Expectations and Unequal Schooling for Black Youth published by Oxford University Press.
Wallace brings to The NEA Foundation over fifteen years of experience in community organizing and youth development. Prior to joining the Brandeis faculty, Wallace served as a National Director at The Posse Foundation, and Community Organizer with Citizens UK, working with over 50 primary, secondary and higher education institutions on living wage, fair housing, immigration and street safety campaigns. In addition to his role at Brandeis, Wallace has worked with the Boston Public School District on school re-opening plans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Posse alumnus, Wallace is a Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude graduate of Wheaton College (Massachusetts), where he studied sociology and the African diaspora. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, where he was a Marshall and Gates Cambridge Scholar. With wide-ranging experiences in educational activism, analysis, policy and research, Wallace has worked with nomads in Ethiopia, young people with disabilities in Rwanda, immigrant youth in London, economically disadvantaged rural youth in Jamaica, English language learners in Thailand and gifted students in New York City. He served as Special Assistant to the Minister of Education in Rwanda. He also worked as a consultant with schools and district authorities in London.