Mary Pattillo is the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University. Her pathbreaking work uses Chicago as a laboratory to explore the entanglements of racial, ethnic, and class inequities as these intersect with urban space and gentrification, housing, education, the criminal justice system, and politics and urban policy. She is the author of two award-winning books– Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class and Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City –and has received awards from several foundations and organizations. She is currently working on an 8-state comparative project on the roots and effects of legal financial obligations (i.e., court costs, fines, and fees) in the criminal justice system. She is a founding board member of Urban Prep Charter Academies, which is a network of all-boys high schools in Chicago. She has guest lectured at Stateville and will be teaching one of the inaugural courses for the Northwestern Prison Education Program.