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Dr. Bedelia  Richards
Dr. Bedelia Richards
Associate Professor of Sociology

Bedelia Nicola Richards, PhD is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Richmond. As a race/ethnicity, immigration and education scholar, her research has addressed the implications of the growing diversity of the U.S. Black population with a study on the experiences of second generation West Indians in New York City schools. In addition, she produces research that interrogates the role of educational institutions in reproducing institutionalized racism and classism, and promotes critical thinking in regards to how institutions of higher education can better work for students and faculty from diverse backgrounds and communities. She is currently working on two research projects designed to generate knowledge that will make higher education institutions more inclusive for racially and socioeconomically marginalized students and faculty. The first project investigates how schools can provide first generation college students with the cultural and social capital to transition from high school to college successfully. The second project examines the relationship between “race-talk” and racial (in)justice in higher education institutions.

Grants and Fellowships


2018            Summer School on Black Europe (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

2011             NEH Summer Seminar on “Rethinking International Migration”

2000             Jacob K Javits Fellowship (plus tuition grant for 3 years)

Internal-University of Richmond

2018              Faculty Professional Development for Teaching

2018              Arc of Racial Justice Institute

2017              Leadership, Coaching, & Professional Development

2017              Arts and Science Summer Fellowship

2016              PETE Course Transformation Grant

2016              PETE Course Enhancement Grant 

2014              PETE Course Transformation Grant 

2012              Arts and Science Travel Grant

2011               Faculty Seminar Abroad to Jamaica, Panama Trinidad and Cuba

2010-2015      Arts and Science Summer Fellowship

2010               Arts and Science Travel Grant

Internal-Graduate School

2004                Africana Studies Summer Research Grant

1999                Comparative American Cultures Fellowship


Selected Presentations

2018                 Richards, Bedelia Nicola “Faculty Assessments as Tools of Oppression. Southern Sociological Society, New Orleans, LA

2018                 Richards, Bedelia Nicola, Panelist, Author meets Critic Session for “Being Black, Being Male On Campus” Southern Sociological Society meeting, New Orleans, LA

2016                 Richards, Bedelia Nicola (with Marilee Mifsud) March. My Professor is an Angry (Black) Woman": Strategies for combating controlling images in the classroom. Eastern Sociological Society, Boston, MA. 

2016                 Help-Seeking Behaviors among First Generation Black and Latino Students: the Significance of Cultural and Social Capital in the Transition from High School to College Eastern Sociological Society, Boston, MA. 

2015                 Richards, Bedelia Nicola. August. Tracking and the Racialization of Second- Generation West Indian Students: Implications for the Color-Line Debate. Society for the Study of Social Problems, Chicago, Illinois. 

2013                 Richards, Bedelia Nicola. March. The Paradox of Gateways as a Mechanism of Cultural Capital Production: Early College High Schools and the Transition from High School to College among First generation College Students (Panelist/Organizer). Eastern Sociological Society, Boston, MA.

2011                 Richards, Bedelia Nicola. From Banana Boats to Carnival Floats: The changing Image of West Indians in the United States since the 1900s. Social Science History Association (SSHA) Boston, MA

2010                 Richards, Bedelia Nicola. 2010. Bartering and Bending Rules: Teacher Expectations and Academic Engagement in (School) Context. American Sociological Association (ASA).  Atlanta, Georgia.

2010                 Richards, Bedelia Nicola.  2010. “School Peer Groups Popularity and Geekdom” Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER).    Athens, Greece.

2009                 Richards, Bedelia. 2009. “What Makes Partnerships Work in Early College Schools.” American Educational Research Association (AERA).  San Diego, California.


Richards, Bedelia Nicola. 2020. “When Class is Colorblind: a Race-Conscious Model for Cultural Capital Research” Sociology Compass DOI: 10.1111/soc4.12786

Richards, Bedelia Nicola. 2020. “Help-Seeking Behaviors as Cultural Capital: Cultural Guides and the Transition from High School to College among Low-Income First Generation Students" Social Problems

Bedelia Nicola Richards. 2020. [Review of the book: Race Dialogues: A Facilitator's Guide to Tackling the Elephant in the Classroom by] Donna Rich Kaplowitz, Shayla Reese Griffin, & Sheri Seyka. Teachers College Record, Date Published: June 08, 2020 ID Number: 23314

Richards, Bedelia Nicola “Faculty Assessments as Tools of Oppression: A Black Woman’s Reflections on (Colorblind) Racism in the Academy” in Byrd, W. Carson, Sarah Ovink, and Rachelle. J. Brunn-Bevel (eds.). Intersectionality and Higher Education: Identity and Inequality on College Campuses, Rutgers University Press (May, 2019)

Bedelia Nicola Richards with Rondini, Ashley C., and Nicolas Simon (Eds.) Clearing the Path: Qualitative Studies of the Experiences of First Generation College Students. Edited Volume with Lexington Books. May, 2018.

Richards, Bedelia Nicola (with Lauren Camuso) 2015 “Cultural Capital in the Classroom: The Significance of Debriefing as a Pedagogical tool in Simulation-based Learning”. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Volume 27 (1) 

Richards, Bedelia Nicola. 2014 “Ethnic Identity on Display: West Indian Youth and the Creation of Ethnic Boundaries in High School." Ethnic & Racial Studies, 37:6, 978-997 

McDonald, Katrina Bell and Bedelia Nicola Richards. 2008. “Downward Residential Mobility in Structural-Cultural Context: The Case of Disadvantaged Black Mothers.” Black Women, Gender and Families. 2(1): 25-53

Richards, Bedelia Nicola. 2008. “The Diasporized Hybrid: Second-Generation West Indians in Brooklyn” in Keri E. Iyall Smith and Patricia Leavy. Hybrid Identities: Theoretical and Empirical Examinations. Brill Publishers, Boston, MA, pp265-289.

Melissa F. Weiner, and Richards, Bedelia Nicola. 2008. “Bridging the Theoretical Gap: The Diasporized Hybrid in Sociological Theory” in Keri E. Iyall Smith and Patricia Leavy. Hybrid Identities: Theoretical and Empirical Examinations. Brill Publishers. Boston, MA, Pp101-116.

Richards, Bedelia Nicola. “Tracking and Racialization in Schools: The Experiences of Second Generation West Indians in New York City” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity , 3(1), 126-140.

Bedelia Nicola Richards, Hugo Ceron-Anaya, Jennifer Mueller, Patricia Sánchez-Connally, Derron Wallace and Susan Dumais,  “Decentering Whiteness in Cultural Capital Research” (In preparation, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity)

Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University
M.A., The Johns Hopkins University
B.A., Temple University
Contact Information
Weinstein Hall
Areas of Expertise
Race and Ethnic Relations
Social Inequality
Caribbean Immigrants