Jessie Ramey

Photo of Jessie Ramey
Associate Professor of Gender Studies


U.S. women’s history, race, working families, feminism, public policy, social movements, gender and sexuality


Dr. Ramey is a historian of gender, race, working families, and U.S. social policy. She is the Founding Director of the Women’s Institute at Chatham and Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies. She is also a commissioner and was the Founding Chair of the Gender Equity Commission for the City of Pittsburgh. Her current research examines gender equity in local government practices, public education policy, neoliberalism, and grassroots social justice movements. She teaches courses on women’s leadership, women’s history, gender and power. Dr. Ramey also serves on the Mayor’s Task Force on Women in Public Art.


  • Ph.D., History, Carnegie Mellon University, 2009
  • MA, Women's History, Sarah Lawrence College
  • BA and MA, History, Carnegie Mellon University


  • “The Gendered Dimensions of Women’s Philanthropy,” in A Gift of Belief: Philanthropy and the Forging of Pittsburgh, Kathleen W. Buechel, editor (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021).    
  • “Building an Equitable New Normal: Responding to the Crises of Racist Violence and COVID-19,” policy recommendations for the Gender Equity Commission presented to the City of Pittsburgh, June 2020.
  • Child Care in Black and White: Working Parents and the History of Orphanages (University of Illinois Press, 2012).
  • “For the Public Good: Urban Youth Advocacy and the Fight for Public Education,” Children and Youth Services Review. Place, Power, and Possibility: Remaking Social Work with Children and Youth (Special edition edited by Janet L. Finn, Vol. 35, No. 8 (August 2013): 1260–1267.
  • “‘I Dream of Them Almost Every Night’: Working Class Fathers and Orphanages in Pittsburgh, 1878-1929,” Journal of Family History, Vol. 37, No. 1 (January 2012): 36-54.
  • “The Bloody Blonde and the Marble Woman: Gender and Power in the Case of Ruth Snyder,” Journal of Social History, Vol. 37, No. 3 (spring 2004): 625-650.


  • Feminist Change Agent Award, National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA), 2020.
  • It’s On Us, gender violence prevention grant, Co-PI, Pennsylvania Department of Education (3 awards totaling $90,000), 2019, 2020, 2021.
  • Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh, Co-PI, The Heinz Endowments and Pittsburgh Foundation ($20,000), 2019-2020.
  • New Faculty Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), 2011-2013.
  • Iris Marion Young Award for Political Engagement, University of Pittsburgh, 2013.
  • Lerner-Scott Prize in women's history, Organization of American Historians (OAH), 2010.
  • Herbert G. Gutman Prize, Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA), 2010.
  • John Heinz Award, National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), 2010.
  • Gerda Lerner Award in Women’s History, Sarah Lawrence College, 2002.