Brittany Nicole Fox-Williams

Brittany Nicole Fox-Williams


Trust Matters: Race, Relationships, and Achievement in NYC Public Schools

Dissertation Review Committee

Research Interests


Brittany Fox-Williams is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Columbia University. Her research specializations include inequality, race and ethnicity, education, and urban sociology. Brittany uses quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze inequality in young people’s relationships with authority figures in the education and justice systems. 

Her dissertation, entitled “Trust Matters: Race, Relationships, and Student Achievement,” examines the role of trust in student-teacher relationships, the salience of trust for student outcomes, and racial differences in trust among youth. To study this topic, Brittany draws on longitudinal survey data from the NYC Department of Education and a yearlong interview study of two public high schools in Manhattan. Her dissertation research is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Beyond her dissertation, Brittany authored an article on youth responses to law enforcement, which is published in Sociological Forum. This paper won an award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Brittany completed her undergraduate studies at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, where she was class valedictorian. She also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.


MPhil, Columbia University (Sociology)

MPA, Columbia University (Urban Social Policy)

BA, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (Business Administration)


Fox-Williams, Brittany N. 2019 “The Rules of (Dis)engagement: Black Youth and Their Strategies for Navigating Police Contact.Sociological Forum 34(1): 115–37.

Fox-Williams, Brittany N. and R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy. 2017. “Race and Education.” In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by G. Ritzer. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Sociology of Schools, Teaching and Learning (Spring 2019)
  • Workshop on Wealth and Inequality (Fall-Spring 2015)
  • Master’s Thesis Seminar (Fall 2014)
  • Race & Place in Urban America (Fall 2013)

Courses Taught