With the recent attention paid to the fiscal cliff and now the anticipated political battle over raising the debt ceiling, African Americans must start learning more about economics. Our community has produced a vast amount of scholars and scientists, including economists. Here are five that we should all take a little time to get to know.

Margaret Simms, Ph.D.

Currently a senior fellow and director of the Low-Income Working Families Project at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. Dr. Simms is a nationally-recognized expert on the economic well-being of African Americans, Simms spent 21 years with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in several leadership positions. Simms earned a master’s degree and doctorate in economics at Stanford University and was a senior research associate at the Urban Institute from 1979 to 1986 and she directed the Institute’s Minorities and Social Policy Program from 1981 to 1986. Simms has also edited many books and monographs, including Job Creation Prospects and Strategies (with Wilhelmina Leigh), Economic Perspectives on Affirmative Action, and Slipping through the Cracks: The Status of Black Women (with Dr. Julianne Malveaux). She was editor of the Review of Black Political Economy from 1983 to 1988 and board chair of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research from 1993 to 1998.

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