For the last 100 years, single-parent families have captured the attention of policymakers, social reformers and researchers in the U.S. This attention is well-deserved: single-parent families (especially those headed by women ) are much more likely to be poor than families headed by couples, and the income disadvantage they face is severely felt because it is compounded by food insecurity and precarious housing. Single-parent families have also been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, due to both unexpected earnings losses and heightened demands on parents’ time.
2021 James S. Coleman Fellow
Mary Pattillo is the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and Chair, Department of African American Studies, at Northwestern University.
Pattillo’s areas of interest include race and ethnicity, urban sociology, inequality, housing, education, criminal legal studies, Black communities, and qualitative methods. The city of Chicago offers an abundance of opportunities for research and activism. and Pattillo strives to be an expert in Chicago history, politics, and social life.
Pattillo is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She sits on the Board of Trustees of the W.T. Grant Foundation and Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts, and was a founding board member of Urban Prep Charter Academies in Chicago.