Dr. Lauren Pearlman

Research Manager

Dr. Lauren Pearlman is the Research Manager for the Center for Policy Analysis & Research (CPAR) at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Inc (CBCF). Lauren is a scholar and educator with two decades of experience in higher education, legal, and policy arenas. Prior to joining the CBCF, she was an Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida. Her research and teaching examine law and policy’s roles in perpetuating race and gender inequalities and the harmful impact of the carceral state. Her first book, Democracy’s Capital: Black Political Power in Washington, D.C, 1960s-1970s, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2019. Bringing together histories of the carceral and welfare states, as well as the civil rights and Black Power movements, it focuses on local Black activists’ fight for greater participatory democracy and community control in the nation’s capital from the 1960s to the present. Lauren’s work has received a wide range of grant and fellowship support and can be found in the Journal of Urban History, the Journal of African American History, and the Washington Post,among others. At UF, she enjoyed mentoring students in the university’s Reubin Askew Scholars Initiative, an initiative to increase the presence of minority students in public service; advising the undergraduate-run Minority Pre-Legal Society; and serving as a M.A. and Ph.D. advisor for graduate students working on social justice topics. In Gainesville, she received a $30,000 grant to conduct community outreach with diverse stakeholders on issues like prison work camps, affordable housing campaigns, and the campaign to “ban the box” on employment forms.

Lauren began her career assisting attorneys in racial discrimination class action litigation before working for Appleseed, a network of 18 justice centers across the country and in Mexico working to reduce poverty, combat discrimination, and invigorate democracy. There she worked alongside lawyers, policy analysts, and community organizers to craft systemic solutions to local problems. Before working at UF, she served as a postdoctoral fellow in American History and Diversity Studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she led the digital content strategy, storytelling, and editing process for The West Point Guide to the Civil Rights Movement, a digital media primary document reader on the civil rights movement.

Lauren received her M.A. and Ph.D. in African American Studies from Yale University and a B.A. in African American Studies from Wesleyan University. She currently resides in Ellicott City, MD with her husband, two sons, and dog. She enjoys living somewhere with all four seasons again and can usually be found running on the trails and training for her next race.