The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

MSU’s Ravi Perry: scholar, professor, activist

Courtesy Photograph | Ravi Perry
Ravi Perry

After joining the Mississippi    State    University faculty in January 2013,  Ravi Perry serves as an assistant professor of Political Science and the Stennis Scholar for Municipal Governance.

Perry studies American politics, particularly race, representation, LGBT politics and other civil rights related issues. According to Perry, his goal is to stay true to his mantra of being an “activist scholar.”

“I view my responsibility as a member of the academy of what we call ‘academe of the university environment’ to not only educate students, but to also be a productive member of society and to help guide, given the expertise that I have, society in the upward direction,” Perry said.

Perry said guiding students necessitates a dedication in and outside of the classroom because it is through education that one can improve lives.

“What that requires is engagement and commitment to the community, and in the classroom, in particular, is where I try to make that relationship hit home in that the education you are receiving here is not just for knowledge’s sake, but that it has a real import and real value, and attaching that education to making some livid improvement in the lives of human beings, the communities from which we come and the communities in which we will go from here.”

Coming from a family of educators, Perry said he values education.

 “For me, education is the foremost way in which we can help improve societies,” Perry said. “Education isn’t some market-driven phenomenon.”

Perry believes his work should have an impact on students. Perry said that mentoring, his first love, has been the upmost rewarding at MSU.

“I feel as though I am doing my job as a professor if I am able to help guide students into their post graduate endeavors,” Perry said.

Perry       just finished his third book, which he co-authored with his mother, titled “The Little Rock Crisis: What Desegregation Politics Says about Us.”

He currently writes a book on LGBT politics and group responsiveness where he will be examining LGBT candidates and elected officials of color and how they have been able to win campaigns from the local level through U.S. Congress.

Perry continuously engages in the local community, and said he believes it is his duty as an activist scholar to hold such responsibilities. He serves on the board for the Andrew Goodman Foundation and Millennial Advisory Committee, as well as several other hosts of positions, where he helps the foundation develop programs respective to civil rights engagement for young people throughout the country.

“I consider the positions that I hold to be responsibilities of my role as an activist scholar,” Perry said.

Perry has been a great asset to the MSU faculty team in that he has already had such a major impact on students and the community by sticking to his belief in the power of education and mentorship in his short time at MSU.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
MSU’s Ravi Perry: scholar, professor, activist