DeAnna Smith is a PhD candidate in sociology with interests in race, gender, punishment, cultural sociology, sociology of law, and urban sociology. She uses interviewing and ethnographic observation to answer pressing questions about how the criminal legal system and the child welfare system dovetail to shape the lives of marginalized women, their families, and their communities.
Smith is dedicated to addressing and unraveling the inequalities that have transfused her life and the lives of those in her community. Her academic career is attune to the exigent need for multi-dimensional portrayals of marginalized communities, access to that work, and the implementation of its findings outside the confines of academia. Smith's research is funded by the Ford Foundation and the UM's Center for the Education of Women. She is also a researcher at the Child Maltreatment Prevention Lab where she conducts collaborative research on a variety of projects related to child maltreatment.
She received her BA cum laude from Northwestern University in 2016.