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Richard Smith
  • Associate Provost for Equity & Belonging

Richard Smith

I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and, after graduate school at Temple University in Philadelphia, I came back to live in Baltimore, Maryland. Sure, it has its problems; but its beauty, eclecticism, and interesting social structure intrigue me and keep me close. Known as a city of neighborhoods, it’s not uncommon to drive on one street and find consecutive blocks that are different from each other. Often, one is predominantly white, while the next is predominantly black. Additionally, it’s thought provoking to see the distinctive communities and to note why some are supported financially while others are left in continual disrepair. But, in the midst of that, as a Baltimore resident, I know my neighbors, have seen how communities have supported each other through difficult times, and know that no matter what people think about Baltimore, we are still here. Maybe this is what piqued my initial interest in Sociology and fuels my research and desire to teach about race and racism in the US, African American culture and, race, crime and justice. In looking at not only my city, but also the nation I live in, I can’t help but ask questions about race and study the resilience of African Americans through times of social backlash and increased difficulty.


Ph.D. and M.A., Temple University
B.A. in Sociology, McDaniel College

Research Interests

  • Sociology of race and racism

  • African American culture

  • Race and Justice

  • Racism and Religion

Recent Courses

  • SOC 3431: Race, Crime, and Justice

  • SOC 3320: African American Culture

  • SOC 3429: Race and Ethnic Relations

Selected Publications

  • Smith, Richard Maurice. “No Other Alternative: Why African Americans Continue to Fight Against Racial Injustice.” Book chapter in Prophet With A Pencil: The Continued Relevance of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail by Arthur Sutherland (ed) Cascade Publishing (Forthcoming 2020)

  • Smith, Richard Maurice. “AfroVeganism: Presenting Food Choice as a Form of Resistance and Remembrance.” Book chapter in Vegetarian’s Dilemma: Rethinking Food Choice Throughout Time by Adam Shprintzen (ed), University of Arkansas Press (Forthcoming 2020)

  • Smith, Richard Maurice. “Becoming McChurch: A Case Study of A Black Organization’s Transition From Leading in a Local Community to Creating a Global Brand.” Journal of Religious Leadership (Spring 2016)

  • Smith, Richard Maurice and Dundes, Lauren. "Reticent on Race: Promoting Constructive Discussions About Race in the College Classroom." Race and Pedagogy Journal (Spring 2016)

Clubs and community involvement

  • American Sociological Association

  • Eastern Sociological Society

  • American Association of Blacks in Higher Education

  • Faculty Advisor for the Black Student Union

Awards and Honors

  • Distinguished Scholar Award (2019)

  • Multicultural Leaders' Most Valuable Faculty Award (2015)

Richard Smith

"When I was touring small liberal arts colleges, I heard all these things that professors do only in these schools that make them so special. Dr. Smith is the sum of all the claims of what makes a truly great liberal arts professor. He wants every student to succeed and leave a better person than they were when they started at McDaniel. He taught me how to think, not what to think. He always saw more potential and ability in me than I saw in myself. I thought I did not have prejudice when I entered college, but through his classes, I learned that I was wrong, and how to challenge my prejudice. To find out that you are not as open-minded as you thought you were is difficult, and so rarely can it be done without feeling attacked or belittled. I never felt those things when I learned from Dr. Smith. Instead, I felt hope that I could become a better person and excitement that there was so much more for me to learn. Dr. Richard Smith is a professor who aims to and succeeds in changing students’ lives."

Aisha Ghodbane '17