Dreaming Forward is a blog by Nancy K. Cauthen, PhD.


I’m a sociologist by training, but mostly I’m my father’s daughter. My dad is a white, retired theologian who grew up poor in Georgia during the Great Depression. Despite his family’s poverty, he realized at an early age that they had privileges and advantages that his black neighbors did not. He instilled in me a passion for economic and racial justice.

I get paid (when I’m lucky) to research and write about policies that increase economic opportunity and security for low-income workers and their kids. After a long tenure at Columbia University’s National Center for Children in Poverty and a brief stint at the think tank Dēmos, I now work as a consultant to foundations and non-profits.

A New York City public school parent since 2002, I started this blog to share my thoughts about our nation’s rampant economic and racial inequality, the current state of public education, and the kind of social and political change needed to create a better future. I am dreaming forward.