Ray Block Jr.

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  • Associate Professor
  • Joint Appointment - Political Science and African American and Africana Studies
  • African American and Africana Studies
  • Political Science
1655 Patterson Office Tower
(859) 257-9256
Other Affiliations:
  • National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity
  • Latino Decisions
  • African American Research Collaborative
  • Joint Center for Political and economic Studies

Ray Block is Associate Professor of Political Science and African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. To join the faculty in Kentucky, he was granted a leave of absence from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. Ray did his undergraduate training at Howard, received his Ph.D. from Ohio State, and specializes in the areas of racial and ethnic group politics, voting behavior, and public opinion. His research appears in Du Bois ReviewInternational Theory, the National Political Science Review, Political Behavior, Politics, Groups, and Identities, Politics & GenderPresidential Studies Quarterly, Research & Politics, and Social Science Quarterly.

Ray has a book manuscript with his coauthor, Sekou Franklin, titled Losing Power: African Americans and Racial Polarization in Tennessee. Losing Power analyzes the recent and rapid change in the Volunteer State from Democratic control of state politics to Republican control and the consequences of that shift for African American politicians and citizens.

In the Political Science department, Ray teaches courses on American national government, legislative politics, interest groups, political behavior, presidency studies, public opinion, research methods, and state and local politics. For the African American and Africana Studies program, Ray offers seminars on social identity (focusing particularly on the politics of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ability).

Beyond his "day job" as a college professor, Ray Block works for the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD). Specifically, he is a coach for the NCFDD's Faculty Success Program, a 12-week boot camp designed to help its participants maximize their research productivity without compromising work-life balance. Ray serves as a research consultant for Latino Decisions, a Latino political opinion research firm, on various projects exploring voter mobilization and other forms of activism in Black communities. Ray is also affiliated with the African American Research Collaborative, a think tank comprised of academics and practitioners dedicated to "bringing an accurate understanding of African American civic engagement to the public discourse."

To learn more about Ray's research interests, teaching experience, and service priorities, please visit his personal website.

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