Eve L. Ewing

Senior Fellow

Dr. Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist of education and a writer from Chicago. She is the author of Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side. She is also author of 1919 and of Electric Arches, which received awards from the American Library Association and the Poetry Society of America and was named one of the year’s best books by NPR and the Chicago Tribune. She is the co-author (with Nate Marshall) of the play No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. She also writes the Ironheart series for Marvel Comics. Ewing is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and many other venues.


“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde

Me in Three

What’s a favorite piece of advice you’ve received?
My mother has always told me, “be a door-opener, not a gatekeeper.” I try to live by that and be intentional about bringing others into the room and to the table.

What’s you go to karaoke song?
I do a very heartfelt and not-terrible rendition of “Time After Time,” by Cyndi Lauper. Honorable mention: “All Falls Down” by Kanye West.

Is there a special place or ritual that you go to to get your best work done?
I go to the Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago quite often. I have my own office and all kinds of other work spaces available to me as an adult, but there is something comforting about going to the same library where I used to research my middle school science fair projects, and I also am incredibly inspired by the silent presence of Harold Washington’s spirit in the space.

This pretty much sums up my existence