Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Ray Block

Ray Block

Professor of Political Science and African American Studies
Laurence and Lynne Brown-McCourtney Early Career Professor in the McCourtney Institute

308 Pond Lab


Ray earned his bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and political science from Howard University and master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Ohio State.

His research interests include racial, ethnic, and gender differences in civic involvement; the formation and mutability of social identity; campaigns and elections; and other topics. His recent work explores how the COVID-19 pandemic both reflects and contributes to ongoing social inequality in the United States.

Block is also a senior analyst for the African American Research Collaborative, a group of community-engaged pollsters, scholars, researchers, and commentators committed to bringing an accurate understanding of African American civic engagement to the public discourse.